FLORENCE—Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assault is offering virtual services for its Alternatives to Violence Program, or ATV.
The program offers male and female participants a 26-week session curriculum focused on power and control, communication styles, parenting, moral development, stress and anger.
The goal is to encourage participants to embrace new ways of thinking and expressing adverse emotions. A pre-test and post-test are conducted to calculate participants’ knowledge of domestic violence laws and what to do in times of conflict. Reports show that in the pre-test participants score an average of 60 percent whereas post-test results average at about 80 percent Allen McBride, Program Director for ATV, talks about commonalities among participants and the triggers he often sees:
It is usually about changing core beliefs about relationships in general. Many have certain expectations about how they should proceed when faced with conflict, and they rely on their pre-conceived ideas,” says McBride. “Words are a popular trigger. What people say to others often ignites anger. Cell phone calls and text messages also create a sense of suspicion that contributes to anger in many participants.”
Typically, this program serves individuals who are referred by pre-trial intervention programs, magistrate courts, probation parole offices, Department of Social Services and lawyers. Many have either been convicted of domestic violence or have exemplified some behavior that makes an environment unsafe for families and/or partners.
McBride says that since isolation began, there has been a shift in participant’s commitment and engagement to the program.
“I have seen a deeper expression of feelings and sincere commitment to changing thought processes that render healthy responses to conflict,” says McBride.
Isolation has brought frustration to many, and those who were already struggling with anger face higher challenges in the midst of it. Pee Dee Coalition understands the difficulty in acknowledging destructive behaviors. Alternatives to Violence offers individuals the freedom to admit their struggles in a safe environment and provides them with tools to help them recondition their responses to anger.
If you or someone you know is struggling to express emotions in a healthy way, please consider taking advantage of this program. Although isolation has prevented in-person sessions, it is still available virtually. The first week includes an initial assessment and session for $65, and then it is $25 per session for 26 weeks.
Call (843) 673-2008 today to learn more about ATV and how to sign up. You can also visit www.peedeecoalition.org
Pee Dee Coalition is a member of the United Way.