Violence awareness and prevention: what more is needed?

Most victims of deadly domestic violence didn’t reach out to their local family violence agencies for help, a new study shows.,0,1593389.story

This article highlights findings from the Connecticut Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee report that provides the details of several examples of deaths resulting from intimate partner violence.

The Committee found that in almost every case one or more children were present at the time of the fatality. In addition, findings also show that most of the victims did not seek out any of the local 24-hour-a-day domestic violence services.

These findings do provide a clear example of the increasing need for more public awareness and training about exposure to violence and its consequences, enhanced community prevention strategies, and the dissemination of information about the availability of services for the families and children at risk.

In this case, the Connecticut Committee responded to the study findings with recommendations to increase communication and training of local law enforcement and the community. Nationally, there are several campaigns which also aim to combat and increase awareness about domestic violence, child abuse, exploitation, and assault; such as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the National Youth Violence Prevention Campaign, and Childhood Exposure to Violence Prevention Week. In addition, besides the Safe Start Center, there are many organizations like STRYVE, the Prevention Institute, and Futures Without Violence which work to spread awareness through research, advocacy, training, technical assistance, and by providing materials.

However, domestic violence is a very complex and difficult issue and increasing awareness is very important but not the only part of the complete answer to the problem. In light of this example, and the availability of training tools and materials, what are new ways or ideas that communities, practitioners, and agencies can use these resources to truly boost awareness and help stop exposure to children and families?


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