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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 U.S. 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 number one factor that increases a child’s resilience and ability to cope is having at least one loving supportive adult that 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

- 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 1-800-584-6790.

Becky Berry

Youth Educator/Advocate, Hope House of South Central Wisconsin