Each year, people across America observe the month of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It's a time when victims of domestic violence and abuse share their stories, and when law enforcement, health care professionals, volunteers and community members share their best ideas on how to prevent such crimes from happening in the first place.
In Springfield, MO, the Community Partnership of the Ozarks, in conjunction with the Springfield Police Department, will be leading domestic violence prevention and outreach efforts through a comprehensive training and information symposium known as the “Stop The Violence” conference. The conference, which was originally established through a generous grant from the HopeLine from Verizon program, is now in its third year and continues to work with the HopeLine program to improve and expand the scope of information made available to participants.
Lisa Martin, a registered nurse with Cox Health in Springfield, will be participating in this year’s conference. From her point of view, sharing information with the community is of utmost importance. “The amount of domestic violence and sexual assault that we see is on the increase,” says Lisa. “Lots of different issues and lots of different aspects of domestic violence will be covered in this year’s conference – and that will help us take care of the victims of domestic assault better.”
Lisa Farmer of Harmony House, a domestic violence shelter and outreach center, echoes that sentiment. “I think the biggest thing for me is making people aware that the problem exists and that it IS here in Springfield,” notes Lisa. “Most importantly, I think this conference will give us a better sense of what the resources really are when dealing with this difficult problem. No one is immune from this problem. It can happen to anyone. So everyone needs to know what they can do to help prevent domestic violence and abuse,” concluded Lisa.
Organizers of the conference all agree that the solution to domestic violence is a shared responsibility and that the best way to “stop the violence” is by making all community members aware of the problem and by sharing information that helps each person become a part of the solution. The HopeLine from Verizon team helps facilitate information sharing by distributing domestic violence prevention materials and providing collection points for used cell phones that are used to support HopeLine-sponsored programs throughout the country.
Additionally, by working with program organizers during event planning stages, HopeLine team members have been able to share best practices from other communities and put people from across the country in touch with each other to improve the content provided at the local level. Lisa Cox of the Springfield Police Department describes Verizon’s financial support and thoughtful planning assistance as “simply invaluable.” This year’s “Stop The Violence” conference will take place on Thursday, October 29 at the Plaster Student Union on the campus of Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. Registration and background information regarding this important event is available at www.commpartnership.org/stoptheviolence.
or a sneak preview of what you may see and hear at this year’s “Stop The Violence” conference, watch this short video.