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Pilot program seeks to stop cycle of domestic violence

Of all the social issues that can have the most detrimental effect on families, one of the worst is abuse that impacts children. Studies have shown that, even when domestic violence is not directed specifically at children, they still suffer psychological trauma. Though there are many shelters that are geared toward helping Colorado victims, these programs do not include the abuser.

A pilot program is underway in another state that will include the alleged perpetrator in an attempt to help offenders find new ways of coping with stress and triggers. Professionals state that one of the most serious concerns is the effect that abuse in the family has upon children. Whether they are also victims -- which is estimated to occur in anywhere from 30 to 60 percent of the cases -- children suffer cognitive damage from being exposed to violence within the home. Since abusers and their victims may continue to try to co-parent, it is believed that a program that seeks to treat abusers will benefit all parties.

In order to accommodate protective orders and to provide a sense of security to victims, the locations for services for both parties will be located at least 500 yards apart. They also will not be accessible from the same public transportation stops. If victims or children express reservations about their participation due to safety fears, they will be permitted to withdraw from the program.

It is hoped that this pilot program will produce positive outcomes for families and for children in particular. Such programs are seen as having the potential to stop the cycle of domestic violence that is often repeated in successive generations of families. While this program is not being introduced in Colorado as of yet, if it is successful, similar programs may become available. Residents who are facing this serious issue may seek the assistance of a compassionate and knowledgeable attorney who can provide information regarding the legal steps victims can take to ensure their safety.

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