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October 1, 2012

Community summit looks at youth violence

PLAINFIELD — The statistics are overwhelming. According to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, 81 percent of men who batter had fathers who abused their mothers.

With that and other harrowing statistics in mind, a 2012 Youth Violence Prevention Summit is planned for 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Hummel Park Community Center in Plainfield. Sandy Runkle of Prevent Child Abuse Indiana will speak, followed by Det. Sgt. Jennifer Barrett of the Brownsburg Police Department.

The event is free and all in the community are encouraged to attend. A complimentary breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m.

“This year we’re seeing what has gotten a lot of media attention are domestic violence situations where children become innocent victims of these crimes where they get hurt or some of them get impacted by a fatality,” said Jennifer Hill, president of Prevent Child Abuse Hendricks County. “What we see is a domestic violence situation between parents where children are witnessing all of the abuse that’s going on. The children are left damaged, whether it’s emotional or physical.”

Other statistics that drive the point home are from a study by Breaking the Cycle that shows that 80 percent of men in prisons grew up in violent homes and from the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary that shows that boys who grow up in homes where domestic violence occurs are 100 times more likely to become abusers than boys in violence-free homes.

“The emotional impact after being in a home where (violence) occurs and we’re seeing them not get the help they need is high,” Hill said. “They find themselves in a repeated cycle or often times become the abuser. Our goal is to hopefully make an impact on how we can prevent this cycle from continuing, how we can help these children so they don’t continue that pattern later in life. Whatever’s going on between mom and dad is severely affecting these children and they get lost in the crossfire. We need to be advocating for these children.”

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