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Curbing the Violence.

Is Sooner Better?

continued...

Community support for such programs often is lacking because parents think it "just doesn't happen in our neighborhood." Other communities, Sims says, may be reluctant to get involved because they are afraid of a huge outpouring they may not be able to handle.

An additional barrier is that, to some extent, dating violence is a "socially acceptable behavior," Sims says. "It is common for a young man to slap or pull his girlfriend in the middle of a mall, and nobody does anything about it."

Lori Solomon is a freelance health writer in Atlanta who has written for the New York Times, the Health Network, Medical Tribune News Service, and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

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