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Domestic violence awareness in Virginia

October is Domestic Violence Prevention Month, and Transitions Family Violence Services in Virginia is taking one important step in preventing future domestic violence. The organization has an ongoing focus on youth, and is responding to recent celebrity and sports-related domestic violence cases by reaching out to youth who participate in athletics.

The program manager stated that one reason to reach out to athletes is because they are generally respected by other youth and students. The hope is that athletes can help teach other youth about domestic violence prevention.

The program includes training sessions on topic such as awareness and developing healthy relationships. Participants will be asked to sign a pledge that they will abstain from relationship violence. Representatives from the program reached out to youth in both Hampton and Newport News.

According to statistics, children who are raised in a violent environment are much more likely to commit certain crimes, commit suicide or abuse drugs, says the program. In fact, individuals raised in violent homes are around 74 more times likely to be involved in crimes than those who are raised in more caring situations.

According to Transitions, an important key to preventing future domestic violence is to educate children on the development healthy relationships. The program manager pointed out that there are times when someone doesn't realize he or she is being abusive; some behavior may be felt as abusive by one party but not seen as abusive by the other.

It's important to understand the legalities of domestic violence when facing domestic assault charges. Help exists for those who suffer through domestic violence, but legal help also exists for those who are accused of such violence. For both individuals, seeking expert help can result in the best possible future outcome.

Source: Daily Press, "Transitions targeting young people to teach domestic violence prevention" Sarah J. Pawlowski, Oct. 04, 2014

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