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The Roanoke Valley is no place for family violence to hide.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
In recent years, Roanoke police have had great success in combating crime by looking at trends and pinpointing where clusters of offenses happen so that officers can anticipate the likelihood of reoccurrence. Resources then can be directed to prevent crime, rather than respond to its aftermath.
Patterns, though, are hard to detect for family violence. It cuts across race, social status, income brackets, educational attainment, religions and neighborhoods. While those from poorer families are more likely to experience family violence, members of wealthy families are less likely to know about services that could help them curtail it.
Too often, terrible, even deadly, damage is done before anyone understands what is taking place.
Awareness can combat family violence. Awareness within an extended family and within the community can help if people know what to look for and where victims and their abusers can turn for help. More awareness by those who offer the resources and agencies that seek to prevent its occurrence, too, are needed to be more effective.
On Thursday, Roanoke City Councilman Sherman Lea will host a forum, Strengthening Families: A Community Conversation about Family and Intimate Partner Violence, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Roanoke Civic Center Exhibit Hall. The program, sponsored by the city of Roanoke and Total Action for Progress, is free and open to all to attend.
Lea is hoping that the forum will get people from all over Roanoke Valley talking and engaged so that family members can find the resources they need to break the patterns that keep them trapped in violent relationships. A frank and ongoing conversation is needed to shine the light on a type of crime that could be curtailed if it were not hidden.
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