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Marta’s House works to stop domestic violence

Herald and News letter to the editor by Gail Whitsett, Bonanza.

Klamath County has one of the highest occurrences of violent domestic and child abuse in the state of Oregon, and Oregon is ranked in the top tier of the other 49 states for violence against women and children.

A direct tie exists between generational poverty levels, drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence. Marta’s House, a mostly privately funded domestic abuse victim’s facility in Klamath, and retired police detective Lt. Mark McDaniel are now spearheading a domestic violence reduction program, including mentoring boys in a program named “PAWS for Change”. The acronym stands for prevention, awareness, wellness and strength. By bringing community awareness to the problem, McDaniel and his staff are hoping to make a difference in the lives of children and break the cycle of domestic violence that appears pervasive in the county.

Children who are exposed to, or are the victims of, domestic or sexual abuse often do not complete school and carry emotional scars throughout their lives. They often do not reach their full potential as members of society and due to abuse and neglect early on, later can become a burden on the state and federal welfare systems. This vicious cycle often continues unabated through generations if it is not interrupted. Many successful individuals have overcome the handicap of childhood abuse with the help of programs like PAWS for Change and individuals like McDaniel, but the organization and Marta’s House need private contributions to continue their work for the citizens of the area, which includes Lake County as well. The measure of a society is in how it treats its children. In order to solve the problem, we must acknowledge there is a problem and act accordingly. Contributions to Marta’s House can be made to: P.O. Box 1358, Klamath Falls, OR 97601.

Gail Whitsett

Klamath Falls

Editor’s note: Gail Whitsett is a candidate for Oregon state representative.



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