The longstanding Scarsdale Coalition on Family Violence and Healthy Relationships — part of the Scarsdale Edgemont Family Counseling Service — has changed its name to the Safe Coalition and expanded its mission.
The impetus for the group’s realignment comes from a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control, which shows multiple forms of violence are interconnected and share the same root causes.
“Gang violence is connected to bullying is connected to school violence is connected to intimate partner violence is connected to child abuse is connected to elder abuse. It’s all connected,” a Harvard School of Public Health adjunct professor said in the CDC report.
At a community meeting Oct. 17 titled “Connecting the Dots,” the Safe Coalition will address those links and how to prevent all types of violence from occurring in the first place.
“With school and community safety on everyone’s mind, it just made sense for us to take a wider look at the issues of violence prevention,” said Lauren Pomerantz, Scarsdale Edgemont Family Counseling Service social worker and coordinator of the Safe Coalition. “The CDC report really helped us to understand that.”
Protective factors that may boost a community’s resilience to violence, according to the CDC, are access to mental health and substance abuse services, and the coordination of resources and services among community agencies.
To that end, Safe Coalition members are working with all sectors of the Scarsdale community — school, village, police and elected officials — to raise awareness about violence and to reduce the risk factors.
Since the Parkland, Florida, school shooting in February, many Scarsdale residents have joined school safety and gun safety groups. They should read the CDC report and join forces with the Safe Coalition to create a safer community together.
Safe Coalition members and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin will be on hand at the “Connecting the Dots” program Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 9 a.m. in room 170-172 at Scarsdale High School to discuss risks and protective factors specific to Scarsdale residents.