October 9, 2019

KEY LARGO — In imagining a world where there’s no domestic violence, teen dating violence, bullying, sexual abuse or revictimization, the Domestic Abuse Shelter will host community-minded seminars for teens and adults.

The “Imagine a World Where Love Doesn’t Hurt” training is from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 17, at the Holiday Inn Key Largo, 99701 Overseas Highway.

The two classes will focus on detecting early warning signs of abuse and promoting self-empowerment, self-care and healthy relationships.

Parents, survivors and community stakeholders are invited to attend.

This is the second year the program is being offered and is sponsored by the Ocean Reef Community Foundation in recognition of October’s designation as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Sheryl Schwab, executive director of the Domestic Abuse Shelter, said the free program was well-received last year. Lunch, as well as morning and afternoon snacks, will be provided.

Certified specialists from throughout the state will lead the adult and teen classes. For teens, attendance is an excused absence from school and serves as required community service hours.

“Domestic violence does not discriminate by age, financial status, religious affiliation, gender identity or age,” a DAS press release reads. “One in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Domestic Abuse Shelter provides services free of charge to all victims in Monroe County, which include both emergency shelter and outreach services.”

Last year, the local shelter served 139 women, five men and 22 children and answered 404 hotline calls. It currently has one emergency shelter in the Lower Keys with 15 beds and has begun the initial phase of rebuilding its hurricane-damaged 25-bed shelter in the Middle Keys.

The Domestic Abuse Shelter offers outreach services throughout the Keys to anyone who may need help with injunctions, court accompaniment, lethality assessments, safety planning, individual and group counseling, case management, and community education.

The 24-hour toll-free hotline provides access to crisis counseling, emergency shelter, information and referrals. The number is 305-743-4440. For more information about the shelter and its services, visit domesticabuseshelter.org.

To learn more about the training and to register go to whatislovedas.eventbrite.com.