The Effects on Children Who Witness Family Violence highlights the short- and long-term impacts on children and the role that HealthPath and all Ohioans play in helping children who witness family violence.
According to the documentary, when boys are growing up, they often learn in order to be respected – to be a man – there also needs to be violence.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time for all communities to learn about domestic violence and to do their part to help prevent it. The Ohio Domestic Violence Network defines domestic abuse when a person uses a pattern of coercive and assaultive behaviors to obtain power and control over another person.
Many experts agree that prevention-focused programs are needed to educate youth about healthy relationships. In particular, men can play a critical role in preventing domestic violence by serving as positive role models to young boys.
“The majority of men are not violent and want to prevent violence in their communities,” said India Harris-Jones, prevention coordinator, Ohio Domestic Violence Network. “The best way to engage men in these communities is by having the majority speak to the minority that are violent and help them understand other ways to work out their problems.”
The trainings have impacted many participants, further encouraging them to take a stand on domestic violence. Clark Echols, a participant in one of the OH-MAN Columbus trainings, was so inspired that he started an OH-MAN branch in Cincinnati to start engaging men in his own community. In June 2015, he showed the documentary, The Mask You Live In, to a crowd of more than 100 individuals, who all shared interest in joining the organization to help prevent domestic violence in their community.
To learn more about OH-MAN, visit www.mensactionnetwork.com.
Each year, 168,000 Ohio children are exposed to domestic violence, and this has lasting effects on them. To bring light to this issue, HealthPath partnered with Case Western Reserve University on Impact of Domestic Violence Exposure: Recommendations to Better Serve Ohio’s Children. This report explores the short- and long-term effects and economic impact of domestic violence exposure on children and recommendations on the best way to support them. The paper also lists evidence-based and promising interventions that can reduce the negative effects of domestic violence on children and help build the protective factors that promote resilience.
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A northwest Ohio mother of two walked to the front of a crowded room at a recent Voices for Ohio’s Children’s Kids Talk presentation and courageously shared her family’s story on how they improved their overall health through access to dental coverage. She described how obtaining access to oral health services had improved her and her husband’s overall health, employment prospects, and self-esteem. The mother also described how it had improved her children’s oral health because they were seeing the dentist on a regular basis. And, she shared how her family’s outlook on life had improved and how grateful they were to have access to such resources.
As this mother shared her family’s powerful story, the impact was clear on the faces of the policy makers in the room as they recognized the importance of children’s oral health as a priority issue for the Ohio General Assembly.
In Ohio, dental care is the number-one unmet health care need for children. In fact, 51% of Ohio third graders have experienced tooth decay and 340,000 Ohio children have never visited a dentist. A mouth left without treatment can affect a child’s health development, self-esteem, and learning.
Voices for Ohio’s Children is a non-partisan organization that helps ensure that the needs of Ohio’s 3 million children are prioritized at the local, state, and federal levels. One example of how they do this is through the Children’s Oral Health Action Team (COHAT), which is a coalition of 30 organizations – from education and advocacy to health care and dental – who have come together to address the needs of improved children’s oral health in Ohio.
COHAT works to ensure children have healthy teeth and gums by making sure quality oral health care is available to children regardless of family income. The organization does this by educating legislators and the community about pediatric oral health care through activities, such as hosting the Kids Talk series; promoting and supporting early prevention programs to reduce tooth decay; and encouraging regular dental check-ups as early as possible.
Additionally, COHAT works with pediatric and school nurses to advance their important role in screening for oral health needs, and provides education and referrals for treatment. Over the past year, COHAT has provided hundreds of school nurses with an Ohio School Nurse Toolkit, enabling them to organize an oral health program in their school. The toolkit makes a huge impact on how nurses are able to evaluate a child’s oral health, which they wouldn’t have known about without the work of COHAT.
“Often, professionals that work at schools are gatekeepers of children’s health, which is why it’s so vital we provide them with materials that educate them on dental care,” said Dustin McKee, policy and advocacy associate for Voices for Ohio’s Children. “Many of these professionals have received limited dental training. Our programs offer access to materials to provide basic understanding of the screening process and to eliminate anxiety when implementing oral health programs in their schools.”
With funding from the HealthPath Foundation of Ohio, COHAT has been able to employ a part-time associate, contract a lobbyist specialist, and create educational materials. As a result, it has raised awareness of the issue and state legislators are now working to improve access to oral health.
Voices for Ohio’s Children is currently hosting several free regional children’s forums for attendees to hear updates on important state issues, share insight on issues children are facing in their communities, and to learn about federal issues impacting children. For more information on how to attend an upcoming conference, visit www.raiseyourvoiceforkids.org.
Unfortunately, this was not Sydney’s first experience with abuse. She was sexually abused from age four to age eight and emotionally abused by her father for many years. This abuse led Sydney to her teenage years, making the behavior of her current relationship seem completely normal.
Sydney’s boyfriend made promises he never kept and continually harassed her and made her feel worthless. He became physically abusive during their senior year of high school. He shoved, pushed and tackled Sydney while they were at school. After cornering her in the hall one day, screaming in her face, Sydney decided she had had enough. She finally stood up for herself, filed a restraining order, and attended a support group with Crossroads Crisis Center where she learned how to identify abusive relationships and
what a healthy relationship looks like.
According to Crossroads Crisis Center, 25% of high school students have experienced physical violence in dating relationships. Crossroads Crisis Center, located in Lima, Ohio, aims to enhance safety for survivors of domestic violence and their children by educating, advocating for and empowering individuals in Hardin and Allen counties. Crossroads Crisis Center’s programs include two safe emergency shelters, peer support groups, educational programs, economic empowerment programs, and a special focus on teen dating violence.
“We help survivors become self-sufficient and not feel like their only option is to return to their hurtful relationships,” said Emily Wrencher, executive director, Crossroads Crisis Center. “We’re able to offer them support during difficult and trying times. Our focus of teenage dating violence is important because we feel teenagers in our community need an outlet to learn about the warning signs of an abusive relationship, how to be in a healthy relationship, and how to help someone they might know who is being abused.”
With funding provided by the HealthPath Foundation of Ohio, Crossroads Crisis Center has been able to implement three successful initiatives this summer through a storytelling project to highlight the issues with teen dating violence. The initiatives included:
(December 12, 2014) - The HealthPath Foundation of Ohio, in partnership with the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center, is pleased to announce the release of the latest update of the Ohio Family Violence Prevention Project data set.
Data is available at the county level for all 88 Ohio counties, the Area Agency on Aging districts, and multi-county alcohol and drug addiction and mental health (ADAMH) board jurisdictions.
In addition, family violence indicators are compared to rates of common injury and illness indicators, such as motor vehicle accidents or new diagnoses of cancer.
The county profiles include data such as:
Intimate partner violence
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