Domestic Violence Conference Well Attended
Submitted by Leonard Sipes, Jr., Sr. Public Affairs Specialist, Office of Legislative, Intergovernmental and Public Affairs (CSOSA Newslink, Winter 2005)
"To experience domestic violence is to walk into hell over and over again," she said. She was a victim of constant beatings by her former husband. I was a young police officer, assigned to check on her (and her children's) safety while she went through the criminal justice system. She explained that the beatings were severe and multiple in number. Her self-esteem was at rock bottom. Her children (ages five and nine) wanted their father. She had hinted at suicide.
To many, the phrase "domestic violence" does not do justice to the multiple implications involved in the lives of the offender, victim, children, extended family, friends and larger society. One victim said that anything less than the phrase "vicious beatings by someone who knows you" does an injustice to the issue. The ill effects of domestic violence are almost endless; mental health issues, school dropouts, workplace deficiencies, drug and alcohol abuse and the general deteriation of families are all correlates. There are criminologists who state that solving the domestic violence crisis in America is central to reducing crime and restoring neighborhoods.
CSOSA's first annual conference on Domestic Violence was designed to be a focal point to address the problem. On Thursday, October 28 at 8:45 a.m. at the Kellogg Conference Center at Gallaudet University, Branch Chief Bill Ashe took the podium and welcomed all to a series of seminars devoted to successful interventions and realistic assessments. It was obvious that Bill felt strongly about the issue, as do many throughout our agency.
Workshops included: Domestic Violence and the Elderly, Domestic Violence in the Faith-Based Community, Domestic Violence and the Law: International/Cultural Practices and Their Influence on Battering Behavior, Same Sex Abuse, Supervising and Treating the Domestic Violence Offender, Addressing Domestic Violence in the Hispanic Community, The Female Batterer—Lifestyles, Morals and Behavior Values and The Impact of Offender Decision Making and The Effects of Domestic Violence on the Family: Empowering the Victim. Approximately 200 people representing all aspects of the issue within the District and region were present.
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