Preventing Domestic Violence: What advocates say you can do to help

Domestic violence is a deadly cycle that experts say is tough to break. 

"We don’t want to deal with this issue anymore, we want people to be safe in their own homes, we all deserve that," Children’s Safe Harbor executive director Megan Brechon said.

And experts say it all starts with children. But, there is something you can do to help whether you’re a parent, a coach, a daycare provider or a teacher. 

"Imparting on them that things like jealousy, stalking, things that seem innocuous and are sometimes glamorized in our society, talking to them about those things and how they can develop into really dangerous behaviors," Brechon said.

That includes conversations about…

  • Consent
  • Red flags
  • and Healthy Relationships. 

"We have to start discussing these things openly and freely in every single home, every single building in our community," Manager of Rockford’s Office of Domestic Violence Prevention Jennifer Cacciapaglia said.

And even if domestic violence isn’t something your child is experiencing, advocates say these are still important conversations for their future. 

"If your child is not in a home where they are being exposed to domestic violence, then your child is going to go to school and they are going to make friends and date people who have been exposed to domestic violence," Cacciapaglia said.

But it’s not just up to parents. To make a real change, Brechon says it takes everyone.

"All of us as community members have an obligation to those children to start doing something different." 

A few things, you can do to help make a difference in the life of a child and help stop the deadly cycle of domestic violence.

If you are not sure how to start a conversation about domestic violence, advocates encourage you to reach out for help.

Children’s Safe Harbor: (815) 316-7772

If you are a victim of domestic violence or you want to speak with someone about a relationship you are in, there are resources to help.

Domestic Violence Assistance Center: 815-516-2400. 

Remedies Renewing Lives: 815-962-6102. 

And of course if you ever feel like you are in danger, call 911. Both the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office and the Rockford Police Department have domestic violence units than can help.

 

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