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Ventura County Focus / West | CAMARILLO

Domestic Violence Discussion Scheduled

January 21, 1998|DAWN HOBBS

The effects of domestic violence on children will be discussed at a public workshop Tuesday at the Camarillo Health Care District.

"Even if children are in the next room, they can hear what's going on," said workshop instructor Angela Lawson, supervisor for the Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence.

Children often think domestic violence is their fault, causing problems with guilt and self-esteem, Lawson said.

"Children also fear that even if it is not happening to them, that it could potentially happen to them," she said. "And when children are concerned about their own safety, then they can have difficulty learning in school, getting along with others and identifying with adults."

The effects of domestic violence are staggering, Lawson says:

* Up to half of all homeless women and children are fleeing domestic violence.

* Adolescents who grow up in violent homes are six times more likely to attempt suicide than those growing up in nonviolent homes, and 24 times more likely to commit sexual assault crimes.

* About 60% of men who frequently assault their partners were also abused as children.

* Domestic violence is the single major precursor to child abuse and neglect fatalities in the United States.

The workshop will be held at the Camarillo Health Care District from 2 to 3 p.m. Call 388-1952, Ext. 258 to register.

"Home is the nursery school of violence," Lawson said. "At least 85% of the men in prison grew up in violent homes. To eliminate violence in our society, we must first eliminate violence in the home."

The Coalition to End Domestic Violence is also interviewing volunteers this week to participate in a six-week training program, which will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 9:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information on the coalition, call 654-8141.

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