‘No Hit Zone’: A safe place during pandemic stress

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY) — The pandemic shutdown has forced many families to spend a lot of time together. And for some, that extended, close contact has increased stress, tension, and in some cases, violence.

“I think within the last week, we just got 10 referrals that’ve come in, says John “JP” Curtis, a supervisor and mentor at Community Solutions, a Virginia Beach based family services agency.

Curtis helps connect troubled youth with the right counselors, programs and other therapeutic services. Those referrals are normally from social workers, for young people needing help with anger management.

Larry Grossman, vice president of program development at Community Solutions, says the agency specializes in helping families in crises. In fact they’ve just received national recognition for efforts to establish “No Hit Zones.”

Grossman, holding a plaque emblazoned with the words “No Hit Zone,” said he’d like to place a similar one in every home, school or business, as a reminder, a warning, illuminating a safe zone.  

“We live in a society that is getting increasingly violent where people hit first and talk later, and we want them to talk first so they don’t have to get to that point.”

He and his staff offer a wide variety of services for the family, but especially young people who act out, or adults who lash out, then have to face legal consequences.

The No Hit Zone, Grossman says, goes “beyond hitting children,  teenagers hitting, parents hitting each other. Our goal has always been to teach communication skills, to teach positive discipline methods which don’t use violence.”

Grossman says he and his staff at Community Solutions have encountered hundreds of distressed families and individuals over the past 20 years. “We work with the departments of social services, child protective service workers,” says Grossman. And, unfortunately, he predicts the forseeable future will be busy, as the pandemic shows no signs of ending.

Should you need to make a call, Grossman, Curtis and the entire staff at Community Solutions stand ready to offer alternative methods “to make things happen in a good way, to build cohesion, to build relationships.”

For more information about counseling, therapeutic services for families experiencing violence in the home,  and residential options for troubled youth, call Community Solutions at 757-461-5098.

If you believe you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence or child abuse, 10 On Your Side has compiled a list of local and national resources to help you.

For the full list of resources, CLICK HERE.

10 On Your Side has compiled a list of local and national resources for residents to fight and prevent domestic violence and child abuse.

In the United States, about 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) including sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Domestic Violence Prevention Resources

10 On Your Side is committed to help Break The Cycle of domestic violence in Hampton Roads. 

Here is a link to all of the local groups or agencies we have highlighted. The page also shares testimonials of survivors.

Here are some local and national resources for victims in need of help.

Transitions Family Violence Services in Hampton

YWCA South Hampton Roads in Norfolk

Avalon Center in Williamsburg

  • Phone: 757-258-5022
  • Offers transitional housing, emergency shelter, youth services, legal advice, and counseling.
  • 24-hour Crisis Hotline: 757- 258-5051

Samaritan House Inc. in Virginia Beach

  • Phone: 757-631-0710
  • Offers counseling, emergency shelter placement, and safety planning.
  • 24-hour Crisis Hotline 757-430-2120

HER Shelter in Portsmouth

  • Phone: 757-485-1445
  • Offers emergency services, court assistance, shelter, employment, housing assistance.
  • Hotline: 757-485-3384

National Domestic Violence Hotline1−800−799−7233

Virginia Domestic Abuse Hotline1-800-838-8238

About 11 million women and 5 million men who reported experiencing sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime said that they first experienced these forms of violence before the age of 18.

At least 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse or neglect in the past year and in 2018 nearly 1,770 children died of abuse and neglect in the United States, according to the CDC.

Prevent Child Abuse America – Coronavirus Resources & Tips for Parents, Children & Others.

Child abuse and neglect are serious problems that can have lasting harmful effects on its victims. For more information on preventing child abuse and neglect check out resources from the CDC or call The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453 for help.

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