High-profile cases spur national dialogue on domestic violence

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. (KABC) -- High-profile cases involving professional athletes are bringing new light to the issue of domestic violence. A new study reveals the issue is widespread, and one organization hopes the increased attention can help address the problem.

In a new study by the University of Michigan, one in five men admits to physically abusing their partner. The study lists some telltale signs of men who are more likely to use violence at home, including irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, and a history of substance abuse.

At Human Options, a non-profit organization that helps abused women and children, Steve Churm leads a program geared toward men. He hopes the recent attention on the topic will spur conversations and education.

"What is acceptable, proper, positive behavior and what is unacceptable. This is a great moment for us, and we cannot let it pass," said Churm.

It's been more than a decade, but Nora Caldwell still feels the pain of being a victim of domestic violence.

"I was ashamed. I didn't want to tell this dirty secret," said Caldwell. "Domestic violence is not something that people like to talk about. They're not comfortable with it. They don't understand it."

She finally did tell someone at Human Options. Now she's the director of development for the program, hoping to end the cycle of violence for others.

While the NFL and its teams evaluate their own policies, Human Options wants them to focus on stopping this from happening in the future.

"What we would like to see the NFL do is provide funding on a national basis for prevention programs," said Caldwell.

They hope the national dialogue continues even after the NFL issues are resolved.

"I am hoping going forward that there is a whole new legion of individuals that say, You know what? I need to do something. I need to get involved," said Churm.

For more information, visit Human Options

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