DOMESTIC VIOLENCE; Saving Children

Article excerpt

Breaking the domestic violence cycle is critical when dealing with children who have witnessed or have been victims of abuse.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that men who witnessed domestic violence as children are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children. Women who are abused as children are likely to become victims of abuse as adults, the coalition also reported.

Of Jacksonville's 8,500 cases of domestic violence a year, more than 4,000 children have witnessed that abuse, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office reported.

Locally, it's up to Hubbard House, a battered women's shelter, to help support and counsel abused women, as well as their children.

With the risk so high for children, Hubbard House created the Helping at Risk Kids program. The program, a 12-week course, reaches out to children aged 3 through 17. While the children are in class, moms are in a support group.

Helping at Risk Kids educates the children and youth about domestic violence, how to protect themselves and keep themselves safe, as well as helping boost self-esteem and communication skills. …