39 25TH ANNUAL CRIME PREVENTION GUIDE Patterns of family violence continue from one generation to another A child or teenager who is abused, or exposed to intimate partner violence, is more likely to be abused as an adult or to become an abuser. This makes prior experience of family violence a risk factor. Family violence can happen in any family or community. Research shows that while some factors may help protect families from violence (protective factors), others are related to a higher risk (risk factors). These factors do not cause family violence; they are related to level of risk, with exposure to multiple risk factors making families more vulnerable. Strengthening protective factors and reducing risk factors that make families vulnerable can help to prevent family violence. Protective and risk factors are related to family violence at many levels-society, community, relationship, and individual-and each level impacts all of the others. For example: A society's values and beliefs influence laws and can send a message about whether or not violence is tolerated. This message can influence the community-level programs or services that can help prevent or respond to family violence. Together, society's values, laws and community supports can impact family relationships and individuals - both to help people relate to each other in safe ways, and to develop resilience to cope with difficult or harmful situations. WHAT PUTS FAMILIES AT RISK OF VIOLENCE AND WHAT HELPS PROTECT THEM? Public Health Agency of Canada Agence de la santé publique du Canada Examples of protective and risk factors by type of violence Child abuse & neglect What helps to protect children from abuse? What puts children at risk of abuse? Society Laws against all forms of child abuse Social tolerance of violence Community Access to local support services Parental resilience and ability to cope Relationship Strong parent-child attachment A history of intergenerational violence Individual Parental resilience and ability to cope Parental mental health or substance abuse problems