New Office of Violence Prevention opens in LA County

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County opened its first Office of Violence Prevention at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Public Health in Willowbrook.

County leaders say the office provides a safe place for a crime victim to seek help with the trauma they've experienced.

The office features a healing center, designed to provide a relaxing atmosphere, as well as other programs.

"Not everybody does well with the traditional speak therapy, talking therapy," said Beatriz Navarro, an L.A. County public health nurse. "So we have other options like drumming circles, we have art."

The city of L.A. is a partner in the Office of Violence Prevention. The grand opening took place during an especially violent week in the city. There have been nearly a dozen murders, including the shooting death of rapper Nipsey Hussle.

The Office of Violence Prevention will partner with community groups and churches in the city and county to provide mental health services, drug rehabilitation and career and educational opportunities for young people.

"If you want to build peace in a community, you're talking about good jobs, you're talking about youth leadership and you're talking about opportunities to connect folks to services," said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

So far, the Office of Violence Prevention has helped more than 700 people.
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