A recent $25,000 grant from the Community Fund of Darien will help the Domestic Violence Crisis Center continue its PeaceWorks education programs in local schools as well as support DVCC court and legal services in Stamford and Norwalk.

PeaceWorks, the prevention and community education arm of the DVCC, has been providing educational programs for more than 30 years to advance the principles of peace, tolerance, empathy, respect and healthy relationships. Last year, PeaceWorks reached nearly 20,000 students in kindergarten to grade 12, including 1,744 students in Darien. Teen PeaceWorks, an after-school program focused on youth advocacy, promoting healthy relationships and raising awareness about teen dating violence and bullying, also continues to be a vital program at Darien and other area high schools.

DVCC's Court and Legal Project assists those seeking civil and criminal protection from domestic violence, including help with obtaining restraining orders, navigating the court system, referral to other DVCC and community support services, and guidance with respect to related civil legal issues such as divorce, custody, child support and housing. DVCC also works closely with local police departments, including the Darien Police Department and its domestic violence liaison officers.

"The Community Fund of Darien has long demonstrated a clear understanding of how vital both direct domestic violence services and violence-prevention education are to our communities, and we are grateful for its continued support," Rachelle Kucera Mehra, DVCC's executive director, said. "Our court services were critical for the more than 1,500 people, including 86 Darien residents, who sought legal assistance and information last year. And providing our young people with the skills and knowledge to recognize and form healthy relationships is of the utmost importance, not only for their future well-being, but also for the world they will inhabit."