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Groups address domestic violence risks facing young people

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Two Southern Nevada nonprofits are teaming up with bars and restaurants to raise money for a domestic violence prevention guide aimed at Nevada high school students.

Project REAL, which teaches young people about the law, and SAFE House, which assists victims of domestic violence will be holding the events in October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Experts say domestic violence has risen during the pandemic, with the CDC saying that nearly half the women and one-third of the men in Nevada have experienced sexual assault, physical violence, or stalking. 

The two groups were working separately on the issue before joining forces in the Hope + Hospitality campaign at restaurants in the Las Vegas and Reno areas.

“We were developing a guide for teens that were turning 18 on topics they need to know about related to the law so they can be successful, independent adults,” said Mike Kamer, senior director for Project REAL. “One of the subjects dealt with was dealt relationships, and we were looking at domestic violence is obviously something that the law covered that we wanted to address.”

The increase in domestic violence during the pandemic made combatting the issue a priority, Kamer told State of Nevada.

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“When we saw what was happening during the pandemic, we thought it would be best to prioritize this,” he said.

Beth Flory, director of operations for SAFE House said reaching out to young people can help break the cycle of domestic violence.

“About 26% of women and 15% of men who were victims of domestic sexual violence, physical violence and or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetimes first experienced these and other forms of violence by that partner before the age of 18,” she said. “So teen dating violence is definitely a situation.”

“We teamed up with Project REAL because we wanted to increase our prevention work within this space because it is very much so needed,” she said.

The groups want to use the campaign to increase awareness of the issue and raise resources to develop domestic-violence-related educational materials for young people.

Guests

Mike Kamer, senior director, Project REAL, Beth Flory, director of operations, Safe House; Skip Norfolk, co-owner, HUDL Brewing

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