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Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse teach youth domestic violence prevention

MOSCOW, ID - Since the video of Ray Rice hitting his wife leaked, domestic violence has been a huge topic of conversation.

One local organization is glad the conversation is so prevalent and some city leaders are helping to spread the awareness.

"You don't have to have a hand laid on you to have deep and lasting scars from domestic violence," said Emilie McLarnan, Assistant Director or ATVP.

Both Moscow Mayor Bill Lambert and Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson proclaim October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
This proclamation occurs annually as a tradition on the Palouse since 1987.

"It's something that I think we need to talk about annually and often," said Mayor Lambert.

Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, the only provider of domestic violence and rape crisis service in Latah and Whitman Counties, leads the effort to spread local awareness and education of domestic violence.

"This month we are doing things out in the community such as the Silent Witness Project," said McLarnan. "Which are silhouettes that depict an individual who's lost their life as a result of domestic violence."

McLarnan said domestic violence is a hard subject for people to discuss openly and sometimes to even see here on the Palouse, but numbers don't lie. It happens.

In the past year Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse has helped 400 victims, answered 3900 hot line calls about abusive situations and given over 1400 bed nights at their emergency shelter.

In hopes of lessening that number, rather than just advocating their intervention abilities this month, they are pushing domestic violence prevention outreach.

"We are really trying hard to get out there and talk to younger people about healthy friendships, healthy boundaries, healthy dating relationships, so that they can learn from a basic level," said McLarnan. "What does it mean to be respected in a relationship," so that eventually down the road we are going to see less dating abuse, less domestic violence, fewer sexual assaults."

For more information about Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, visit www.atvp.org.

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