There is an old saying that says: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The funny part about this statement is how truly easy education and prevention truly are.  All we have to do…ALL WE HAVE TO DO….is start talking, it’s truly and really just that easy.

If we begin talking to a 4 year old what nonviolence looks like (of course we’d use words she’d be able to understand)  she could kind of tell us. So we begin a conversation that lasts days, weeks, months, years, and then it continues with every adult she knows or comes in contact with….she would be more likely to understand, believe, and be part of the belief that nonviolence is an obvious solution.  What would this be….Prevention.

So where is the education part…..every moment you talk about what is right and wrong, you are educating! We must get out of this idea that education only happens in a school…we are educating every person around us with our actions, words, and things we talk about every moment of every day.  We must educate our young people especially about the need to end this epidemic of domestic violence.

An article about the domestic violence happening here in Florida by a Tampa Bay times writer Keyonna Summers talks about this need for prevention and education.

In a time where “an explosion in the number of domestic-related homicides, stalking and other violent behavior across the state [of Florida] since 2009” is happening. “The agency[Florida coalition Against Domestic Violence] also has noticed an uptick in murder-suicides reported by Florida media in the last year” , it shows the desperate need we have for prevention and education NOW more than ever.

Ms. summers interviewed many leaders of the domestic violence prevention world and their quotes are indicative of this need as well.

“What people will often say is they didn’t know what to do. They didn’t realize that someone being controlling or doing a lot of psychological abuse was just as harmful as the physical abuse and could lead to homicide just as physical violence could,” said Frieda Widera, a victim advocate at the Largo Police Department and chairwoman of the task force’s fatality review team.

“What that says to us is we need to provide more education, that the community needs to understand, not just the system,” she said. “The only way we’re going to end domestic homicide is if friends and family and co-workers and neighbors know how to recognize it and intervene.”

It keeps coming back again and again, we need more education…not just for students….for adults as well. It is shocking to walk into a room of 80-100 adults and watch their faces contort in surprise when we speak to them about what Domestic violence is, what abuse really is, and what is happening all around them. Many people put on blinders when it comes to domestic violence and lull themselves into a cocoon of ignorance truly believing that this is not happening, and the lives they live is not part of this problem.

Of course, our future….the kids, the students…they need this education as well. Because these same adults who are so surprised and shocked to find out these statistics are the same ones that are parenting and educating our children.

So we have to reach out and “teach lessons about healthy relationships to middle school-age boys and even children as young as preschool age.”

“Said Widera: “It’s planting the seeds for a new generation that won’t even consider domestic violence to be possible.”

We, the community, the group of bystanders, the men and women of the world must do as the Haven of RCS is doing and “giving free informational pamphlets and presentations to agencies and businesses, including hairstylists, dental offices and doctors, who sometimes deny that the problem affects their clientele.

The sessions train the professionals to recognize things like cuts to the scalp, broken dentures, canceled appointments or even unnecessary supervision by clients’ partners as possible symptoms of abuse.

“There’s still that stigma that it only happens to certain women and that it’s not as prevalent as it is,” said Courtney Hendrickson, Pinellas task force vice chairwoman and Haven outreach coordinator. “But it’s not one race, one culture, one socioeconomic class. It’s everyone.”

Yes, Keyonna Summers Tampa Bay times writer, it is happening to everyone.

We must begin educating everyone.  We must all be advocates for social change to end this abuse.

We must all end this destruction of people everywhere.

We can end this and it will only come about through prevention and education!