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"Drive Peace Home"

According to the CDC, about 24 people per minute are victims of some form of intimate partner violence  and one group in Virginia is working to reduce that number with a license plate campaign to raise awareness, and funds, for programs that educate young people.
According to the CDC, about 24 people per minute are victims of some form of intimate partner violence and one group in Virginia is working to reduce that number with a license plate campaign to raise awareness, and funds, for programs that educate young people.
October 4, 2012

RICHMOND, Va. - About 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). One group working hard to change that number is the Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance. It is kicking off a campaign this week with a special license plate called "Peace Begins at Home," according to Brad Perry, a prevention consultant with the group.

Proceeds from license plate sales will go into a "Building Healthy Futures Fund" to support primary prevention programs in Virginia, he says.

"Basically, 'Primary Prevention' is figuring out what the underlying causes are, what leads a person to chose to commit sexual or domestic violence. What is it about their environment, about the way they were raised, about the sort of internal factors within them?"

Perry says "primary prevention" programs are fairly new, and Virginia has been a leader in setting up these programs through churches, schools and community groups. It is crucial to to educate kids about healthy relationships, he adds.

"We have standards of learning; we have reading, writing and arithmetic in our schools. What we don't have are standards for living. Kids are not learning basic healthy relationship skills - how to respect one another in dating relationships, for example."

Perry urges victims of sexual assault or domestic violence to use the state hotline, 1-800-838-8238.

The Action Alliance is half way to its goal of reaching the 450 pre-ordered plates (the required amount for the state to produce the plate). More information about the "Peace Begins at Home" license plates can be found at www.drivepeacehome.org.

The CDC study, "The National Intimate Partner & Sexual Violence Survey," is available at www.cdc.gov.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - VA