Quick hits of news and fresh ideas for busy parents.

LET'S DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT

What: Domestic Violence

Who Can Help You Help Others: Karen S. Days, president of the Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence

Where: 655 E. Livingston Ave., East Side (just south of Nationwide Children's Hospital)

How: The Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence and The Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children's Hospital are in the process of merging to create a bigger, stronger organization to combat and break the cycle of domestic violence. Via a variety of community organizations, the group educates the public about domestic violence so that they also can support family members and friends who may need help.

Break It Down

Days explained that victims of domestic violence often become isolated from society by the perpetrator, but when family members and friends don't give up and don't let victims withdraw from contact, the chances for recovery are much greater. Days recounted the story of Sarah Adkins, an Upper Arlington woman whose two young sons were murdered by her husband, who then killed himself. Less than a year later, Adkins remarkably is involved in community education about domestic violence, working to prevent similar tragedies from affecting other families (and you can read Adkins' inspiring story in the new issue of our sister publication Capital Style).

"The critical thing there," said Days, "was her supporting atmosphere. Her friends never gave up on her. They were so tuned in."

What You Can Do

If you know someone whom you suspect is being abused, the Coalition advises that you:

*Plan what you want to say. Determine a good time and place to talk.

*Ask questions like "How can I help you? What do you want to do about the situation?" Listen without judgment. Do not moralize or criticize. Give the victim plenty of time to answer.

*Don't say, "Just get out" - it is not a safe piece of advice.

*Let the victim know that you believe that verbal, emotional or physical abuse in a relationship is never acceptable.

*Provide her or him with information about local resources that can help.

For More Information

One starting point for information is the Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence. Their phone number is 614-722-8200 and their website address is ccafv.org.

If you need immediate help, call 911 in an emergency. You can also call CHOICES, the local 24-hour domestic violence hotline, at 614-224-4663, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.

-Jane Hawes