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VIDEO: Bergen Domestic Violence Program Treats Offenders As Well As Victims

A look at Alternatives to Domestic Violence in Hackensack.
A look at Alternatives to Domestic Violence in Hackensack. Video Credit: Anthony Locicero

HACKENSACK, N.J.– Times have changed – and with them the types of approaches taken by Bergen County's Alternatives to Domestic Violence program.

The county agency now offers an intervention program for batterers and is expanding offerings for Spanish speakers.

“There’s no question in my mind that you can’t end [domestic violence] without directly dealing with the perpetrators.” ADV Director David Cohen told Daily Voice. “We’ve made a huge difference in the lives and perspectives in the lives of offenders.

“It’s about making everyone safer.”

The program has 16 weekly crisis management groups: 10 for male batterers, including one for Spanish speakers; four for female victims; and two for female aggressors.

ADV also provides community outreach and education programs and works with at-risk youth, with the focus on prevention.

“We go to the schools - public, private, alternative – and we provide workshops on domestic violence, dating abuse, and what constitutes a healthy relationship,” Community Education and Outreach Coordinator Sian Millard said. “Adolescents who are engaging in abusive behavior are setting the stage for abusive behavior for years to come.

“People can learn to have healthy relationship if they have the tools to.”

Located on the second floor of One Bergen County Plaza in Hackensack, ADV receives federal, state and county funding. It's operates around-the-clock all year.

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