By Christine Murray, HRI Director

Our mission at HRI is to promote happy, healthy, and safe relationships of all kinds in Guilford County. As we’ve described before, these terms “happy, healthy, and safe” have a special meaning to us at HRI, in that they represent a spectrum of relationship quality. We view safety as the core foundation for healthy and happy relationships — Without safety in relationships, it is nearly impossible for them to be happy or healthy.

We define safe relationships as those that are free from all forms of abuse, neglect, and any other threats to one or more person’s physical or emotional safety, well-being, and development. As this definition suggests, violence and abuse are damaging to the safety of relationships and the people in those relationships. Children, in particular, are affected when they experience violence and abuse in their homes, and these experiences can impact them throughout the rest of their lives.

This October, in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, HRI is partnering with the Guilford County Family Justice Center to raise awareness about the impact of domestic violence on children. We’ll explore the unique ways that traumatic events like parental domestic violence can impact children. More importantly, we’ll be highlighting many of the resources available in our community to support children who have been impacted by violence in their homes, especially the partners working within the Family Justice Center.

Unfortunately, violence and abuse are realities for far too many children and families in our community. On the other hand, there are many excellent resources available in our community to provide support and break the cycle of abuse that can occur across generations within families. Beyond Guilford County, families in our community can take advantage of resources from national organizations — such as Sesame Street in Communities, who we’ll highlight later this month — for additional support and information that can benefit children who have experienced trauma. Stay tuned all month as we explore ways to help foster a community in which all children can experience safe relationships and homes.

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