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A survey of neighborhood needs prompted a Miami Lakes, Fla., congregation to start a domestic-violence support group.

“As Hispanics, we’re brought up that men are supposed to be macho, and [domestic violence] is more acceptable than in American culture,” said Blanca Paprocky, a member of Vida Nueva Christian Reformed Church and a volunteer with the support group.

A congregation of just 19 families, Vida Nueva held an open house information night led by a local expert on domestic violence. About 70 people attended, and several learned that their home life would be considered a domestic-violence situation.

“They had the feeling that something was wrong, but they were not sure what,” said Paprocky. “[I grew] up in an environment where domestic violence was viewed as normal. I want to be part of educating people and telling them that this is not OK.”

The support group is held on Wednesday nights for about an hour.

The church also offers a group that introduces Christian beliefs as a 12-step program to better one’s life.

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