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ALIVE and well in St. Louis and the surrounding area

Protecting yourself and your child or children from an abusive relationship is crucial for the well-being of yourself and your child. Thankfully, there are programs available to help. Last week, the Alternatives to living in Violent Environments, or ALIVE, celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony to raise awareness of the program that offers shelter and help for victims of domestic violence.

Last year, the program received over 3,500 calls, sheltered victims for 541 total nights, and provided programs to educate 887 individuals. The program is working on its annual appeal campaign in an effort to raise $40,000. With many programs not having enough funding, representative from ALIVE explained that such awareness campaigns are necessary to continue to thrive. Last year, ALIVE helped a total of over 1,800 adults and children who were in need of protection from domestic abuse.

Abusive marriages not only take their toll on the abused spouse, but can have serious ramifications for a child witnessing the abuse and may lead to mental issues for the child later in life. It is essential for not only the victim of abuse, but for any children living in the household, to not be exposed to violence, whether it is physical or emotional violence.

Spousal abuse also plays a key role in a court's decision during child custody hearings. A child's well-being is the primary concern of the courts when making child custody decisions, and any history of abuse or violence will be taken into consideration during this decision-making process.

Source: The Missourian, "Nights of Safety, And So Much More," Karen Cernich, Accessed on Dec. 8, 2015

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