Violence Prevention Center asking for public input

What can we do individually and collectively to reduce violence in our community? What kind of programs and experiences would support the development of healthy and non-violent relationships among youth and families?
The Violence Prevention Center has initiated a strategic planning process.  In this process, we are conducting a needs assessment.  We would like to elicit the ideas and feelings of community members.  The Violence Prevention Center has always and will continue to provide supportive services to individuals who are victims of relationship violence.  However, we also recognize the importance of embracing a more expansive role in prevention.  That means providing early intervention and education services to the youth and families of our community. 
Research has revealed quite a bit about the impact of family violence on youth.  We know that children who are exposed to domestic violence tend to have behavioral problems such as aggression and disobedience as well as depression, anxiety, loss of self-confidence and lower school achievement.  These children are also at increased risk to be a victim or a perpetrator of aggression in their own relationships. This might include bullying, dating violence and sexual harassment.
There are many services and resources that can contribute to healthy, non-violent relationships.  For example, access to healthy role models and relationships for boys and girls, the availability of trustworthy and supportive adults, the proactive teaching of non-violent conflict resolution and coping skills and access to accurate developmental information and adaptive parenting strategies are just a few of many approaches that can play a part in preventing violent relationships. 
We would like to hear from you.  If you have some thoughts, observations and ideas about problems and solutions that get in the way of or contribute to the development of healthy relationships among adults and youth in our community and would like to share them, please contact the Violence Prevention Center at 387-1237 and speak with staff or a board member.  We would appreciate your input as we project into the future and imagine a community and culture defined by respectful and violence-free relationships.