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Friday, September 14, 2012

Support groups forming for women and children abuse victims

The Fairfax County Office for Women and Domestic and Sexual Violence Services is hosting three free, confidential support groups in the Annandale area. [The exact location isn’t being disclosed to the public to protect the participants.]

A support group for women survivors of domestic abuse (physical, emotional, or verbal) starts Wednesday, Oct. 17. It meets weekly, 6:30-8 p.m., for eight sessions. This group will promote understanding and healing  and build a sense of community with other survivors. For more information, contact Heather McMillen, 703/704-6729.

Another support group is aimed at building coping skills among women survivors of sexual or domestic abuse. Participants will learn specific strategies for coping with trauma and how to move forward with what’s important in their lives. This group also meets for eight monthly sessions on Wednesday evenings, 6:30-8 p.m., beginning Oct. 17. For more information, contact Tanya Clausen, 703/704-6719.

The third support group, called “Children Matter!,” is for children ages 7-15 who have witnessed or experienced domestic violence. This eight-week group will take place at the same time and place as the support groups for women. Children will learn about safe and healthy relationships, dealing with negative emotions, and non-violent problem solving through art, play, and other therapeutic techniques. Contact: Salima Jiwa, 703/324-2395.

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