Potomac Job Corps Center tackles emotional abuse through domestic violence summit
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Potomac Job Corps Center tackles emotional abuse through domestic violence summit

Three out of four Americans know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence, according to the Allstate Foundation’s national poll on domestic violence. While it impacts many, few discuss the issue.
In a recent domestic violence summit held at the Potomac Job Corps Center on August 24 and 25, entrepreneur and advocate Amy Barnes opened up the dialogue with Potomac students about domestic violence.  Her inspirational story and perseverance through troubled times allowed her to bring attention to this pressing issue.
Amy’s story is one of courage and determination. Being a survivor of domestic violence, she initiated the summit for a simple purpose: to tell her story and encourage participants to follow their own values and standards and rebuild their confidence.
According to Barnes, the problem fueling the continuation of domestic violence is silence. Very few people speak up if they suffer from the abusive behavior or if they witness it in their homes. This is exactly the kind of mentality Barnes wants to change.
The mood at the summit fluctuated from serious and deeply heartfelt, to lighthearted and jovial. This broad spectrum of emotions represented the phases of a domestic violence victim. According to Barnes, the victim tends to see only the positive aspects of the relationship. When the abuse is stagnant, everything is perfect. This is known as the honeymoon phase. 
Unfortunately abusers rarely, if ever, break the cycle of abuse.  Barnes equates the feeling to a “shark smelling blood,” meaning most abusers can’t help but to abuse again.
The summit was mainly a discussion forum. In addition to the discussion, participants of the domestic violence summit were asked to create brochures to draw attention to the issue at hand. Barnes then made them into flyers for the audience to vote on. The top three will be made into posters and will be displayed in the dorms on campus.
“It’s not the courage it takes to leave the abuser, but it’s enough strength in you to stay away,” said Barnes.  She believes that everyone has a story and a purpose. By telling her story, she hopes to inspire at least one person and further her mission to facilitate change and advocacy.

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