CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Commissioners are helping to raise awareness of domestic violence.
On Tuesday the commissioners proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month at the request of Marsha Learish of the Crossroads Project.
“It still exists,” she said. “It’s in the news and it’s in our county.”
Crossroads helps victims with protection from abuse orders, provides counseling services and also facilitates an active support group.
Learish said counselors use these tools to encourage victims to not only come to them in a time of crisis, but also to continue counseling with the goal of not becoming involved in abusive relationships in the future.
During the fiscal year from July through June in Clearfield County, she said the Crossroads provided services to 788 new recipient adults, significant others and children; 2,809 counseling hours; 510 shelter nights at the Safe House in DuBois; and 22 new adults/children sheltered.
Learish said the Crossroads has continued its education programs in area schools on a quarterly basis. Its counselor advocates teach senior students about dating violence. However, its starting a brand-new community initiative called “Coaching Boys into Men.”
It’s a violence prevention program for athletic coaches that’s designed to inspire them to teach their young male athletes about the importance of respecting themselves, others and particularly women and girls.
“This program is another avenue for us to combat dating violence and domestic violence,” Learish said.
Commissioner Mark B. McCracken commended Crossroads for starting the program. He said the community needs to be more proactive, and he felt it would help having positive male role models in the lives of young boys when they are still being molded.