Healthy Relationships

The quality of our relationships is central to health throughout our lives and impacts our physical, mental, emotional and social well-being. Supporting the development of healthy relationships among individuals, families and communities is a priority of the Division of Maternal and Child Health. Efforts to support healthy relationships include:

  • Participating in the Strengthening Families initiative to increase family well-being, enhance child development and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. 
  • Supporting efforts that focus on the prevention of domestic and sexual violence. This work emphasizes primary prevention by identifying risk and protective factors and stopping violence before it begins.
  • Strengthening parent-child relationships through evidence-based home visiting.
  • Championing initiatives and programs that promote healthy sexuality. Healthy sexuality means having the knowledge and power to express sexuality in ways that enrich one’s life, including sexual relationships that are consensual, respectful, informed and free from violence. 

In This Section

Domestic and sexual violence are serious, preventable public health issues that affect millions of Americans and thousands of Vermonters.

According to Vermont law: An abused or neglected child is a child whose physical health, psychological growth, and development or welfare is harmed or is at substantial risk of harm by the acts or omissions of his or her parent or other person responsible for the child's welfare.

Did you know women who have experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetime were more likely to report having asthma, diabetes, frequent headaches, chronic pain, poor physical and mental health?