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Family shelter attempts to curb emotional distress amongst teens

Domestic violence occurs daily in Lake County, Illinois, homes and many homes across the United States. Many people who deal with the effects of domestic violence believe that removal from a violent home is the first step to ending the cycle of violence. In addition, another step in stopping domestic violence may be teaching children to respect family and friends. A Cook County, Illinois, family shelter has begun a program to teach the concept that respect for others begins in the home. "Stop The Violence" Boys Respecting Others has been designed to help uproot violent traits in male children, those who are most likely to commit acts of domestic violence as adults.

The objective of this eight-session program is to lessen the effects of emotional distress of domestic violence in the home by teaching boys in grades six through eight to respect one another. The meetings deal with relationships with family and friends with additional sessions addressing how respect can gradually spread to community members. The interactive sessions are free and are for male victims of domestic violence.

Domestic violence is a very sensitive topic, and sometimes victims of domestic assault are reluctant to admit that they have been assaulted. Similar to discordant divorces, children are innocent victims of domestic violence and continue to be adversely affected by violence in the home. Additionally, victims of child abuse may grow up to be perpetrators of domestic violence.

Teaching teens with exposure to domestic violence to respect others is no doubt a wise start. However, Illinois residents currently in violent situations are often unsure about who to contact when exposed to domestic assault and what steps to take to stop it. There are professionals available who can help with removal of children to a safe place and provide advice on any remedies available.

Source: nwitimes.com, "New program addresses teen boys exposed to domestic violence," April 22, 2014

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