By Wendy Holdren
The Women’s Resource Center is hosting two free screenings of “The Children Next Door,” a documentary that highlights childhood domestic violence.
The first screening will be Tuesday at 7 p.m. at The Ritz Theatre in Hinton and the second will be Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Raleigh Playhouse and Theatre in Beckley, both as a part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“The Children Next Door” was created by a national non-profit, Children of Domestic Violence, a group whose mission is to help those who experience domestic violence as children break the cycle and reach their full potential.
“Our greatest challenge in the fight against childhood domestic violence is a lack of public awareness,” said Brian F. Martin, founder and CEO of Children of Domestic Violence.
“Our award-winning documentary, ‘The Children Next Door,’ sheds light on a burning issue and has the power to open a dialogue about a silent epidemic affecting nearly one billion people around the world. This October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it is imperative that when thinking about domestic violence, we think equally of and focus the conversation on the children that are present in these homes.”
According to the organization, domestic violence when children are present impacts 5 million children each year and 40 million adults who were these children in the U.S. alone, and globally, nearly 1 billion people are impacted.
Children of domestic violence are six times more likely to commit suicide, 50 times more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, 74 times more likely to commit a violent crime and three times more likely to repeat the same cycle, according to the CDV.
During Thursday’s screening in Beckley, a panel of Raleigh County professionals will be available afterward to discuss the issues and answer questions.
The panel will include keynote speaker Chelsea Waldroup, who is featured in the documentary “The Children Next Door,” Women’s Resource Center Advocacy Specialist Victoria Bradshaw, WRC Executive Director Patricia Bailey, WRC Shelter Case Manager and Domestic Violence Advocate Lynda Jensen, Beckley Police Department Capt. C.D. Mullens, Raleigh County Family Court Judge Louise G. Staton, Raleigh County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Pat Lamp and Program Coordinator for Child and Youth Advocacy Center and survivor of childhood domestic violence Roger Lockridge.
Chelsea Waldroup, 17, is the eldest of the Waldroup children and a child of domestic violence. Her father nearly murdered her mother and killed her best friend.
Committed to breaking the cycle of violence, Chelsea is excelling academically and has taken her first job.
Chelsea has been featured on the Dr. Phil show, in a 30-minute Nick News segment on Nickelodeon spotlighting childhood domestic violence and in the award-winning documentary “The Children Next Door.”
For more information, contact Dee Sizemore at 304-255-2559.