October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and Hope House is working to raise awareness, prevent violence and offer support and services.

Did you know that in a year, one in nine United States children are exposed to family violence? Children can be affected by domestic violence by witnessing abuse, being directly abused, or being used as a tool for the abuse. Each child can respond differently to being exposed to or experiencing abuse but we do know that children are resilient and can recover.

We all have a role in breaking the cycle of violence and creating a safe world for the children in our communities. The No. 1 factor that increases a child’s resilience and ability to cope is having at least one loving, supportive adult who they can depend on. Here are a few ways that we can all help: Teach children that abuse is never their fault and that violence is never acceptable, model healthy and respectful relationships, encourage children to talk about their feelings and make safety plans with children and teens.

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, you can get free help and support from Hope House by calling 800-584-6790.

Becky Berry, youth educator/advocate, Hope House of South Central Wisconsin, Baraboo

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