Better Family Life’s De-escalation program has a goal of resolving disputes through mediation and not violence.

The program is only a year old, but it has already had a major impact in the St. Louis area.

Several participants have vouched for its effectiveness, including one man who said he was headed for jail, or a worse fate, before entering the program.

Local mother Paula Neely Duckworth also said her son was threatened in a situation heading downhill until James Clark from Better Family Life stepped in.

"He de-escalated the situation," Duckworth said. "He de-escalated it so quickly, so fast to where it just didn't seem real. Because going through a situation like that was just unbearable."

Clark said often times it is a third party, someone outside the conflict, that brings attention to the tough situation and saves or changes lives.

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