Independence House to Hold Free Conference

posted by Walt Perkins - 

#SoMuchAbuse: Let’s End it Together is a call to action conference focused on exploring, teaching and implementing strategies for the Primary Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence; the conference is scheduled for Saturday, October 20, 2018 from 8:00am‐3:30pm. at Dennis‐Yarmouth Regional High School.

Led by Independence House, and generously sponsored by a grant from the Verizon Foundation, the conference will bring together community leaders, multi‐disciplinary professionals, individuals, employers, first responders, parents, coaches and high school students to increase their knowledge about current thinking around preventing sexual and domestic violence.

Keynote Speakers are Jetta Bernier, M.A., Director of MassKids, the Massachusetts Chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America, and the Executive Director of The Enough Abuse Campaign. Ms. Bernier has developed an interactive evidence‐informed training designed for school personnel, a policy guide for schools and youth organizations, and a series of prevention guides for parents. Duane de Four, M.A. is the Founder and Sole Proprietor of DD4 Consulting. From 2010‐2018, Duane was a Senior Prevention Specialist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is an educator, media critic, and activist with more than twenty years of experience developing strategic initiatives, policies, and curricula. Mr. de Four also facilitates discussions focused on sexual dating violence prevention, masculinity, privilege, power and accountability for sexual health. He has worked in a variety of settings, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, NASCR, and all branches of the U.S. military.

Conference workshops presented by professionals will address related topics that intersect with sexual and domestic violence. Conference attendees will explore the roots of sexual and domestic violence, and afternoon town meeting sessions will identify tools and next steps to assist communities in their work towards ending sexual and domestic violence. They will be challenged, motivated and energized to be brave, bold and brilliant in this work. The tools and resources that attendees take away from this conference will reinforce that ‘Together, We Can End Abuse.’

Lysetta Hurge‐Putnam, Executive Director of Independence House states, “For several years now at Independence House, we have embraced a fundamental truth within our mission, and that truth is that Sexual and Domestic Violence are preventable if we employ the effort. While there is still much more to be learned, our current understanding informs us that we must address cultural and societal norms that perpetuate these forms of violence, and we are seeing a striking example of this in the #MeToo movement of today. Our conference demonstrates our determination and conviction to work in partnership with our community in this effort by offering concrete strategies, tools and resources. The time is past for only awareness, it is instead, time to actively work towards prevention, ..and to coin a phrase”… “Prevention is better than a cure.”

Chris Morin, Director of Prevention, Education and Outreach expresses “We need to raise a generation of children who do not choose violence when a conflict occurs.” Currently Independence House provides Page 2 of 2 assistance to over 9,000 Cape Codders annually and in the last fiscal year reported over 950 hours spent to assist just children and teens impacted by domestic or sexual violence. Michael Patterson, Assistant District Attorney and Chief of the Domestic Violence Unit for the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office states that 4160 domestic and sexual violence cases were reported through their office in a 30 month span between January 2016 and July 2018.

A collaborative committee of representatives from multiple organizations aligned with the Independence House mission have been meeting and planning this conference for almost 2 years. Independence House would like to thank and recognize the committee consisting of Chris Morin, Director of Prevention, Education and Outreach for Independence House; Barbara Burgo, representing the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission; Kara Galvin, Director of Youth Services for Cape & Islands Workforce Development Board; Edye Nesmith, Executive Director of the Cape Cod Council of Churches; Paula Degree, Faith Captain for Cape Cod at Freedom for All Massachusetts; Nsreen Alkhatib, Domestic Violence Advocate for Independence House; Katia DaCunha, Tri‐lingual Domestic Violence Advocate for Independence House; and Renee King, Director of YMCA Teen Achievers.

Registration for the #SoMuchAbuse: Let’s End it Together Prevention Conference is Free and available now on the Independence House website. Independence House. Inc. is Cape Cod’s leading resource, counseling and advocacy and prevention center to address and prevent domestic and sexual violence. Independence House, approaching its 40th year, is a comprehensive community based agency that offers critical responses programs to children, teens and adults of all gender identities, races, sexual orientations, abilities and cultures.

Independence House offers assistance to survivors through four offices (Hyannis, Falmouth, Orleans and Provincetown); in four Cape Cod District and Probate Court Houses; assists sexual assault victims at both Cape Cod and Falmouth Hospitals; provides a dedicated domestic violence advocate at Falmouth Police Department; and maintains a confidential emergency residence on Cape Cod. Independence House has over 15 collaborative partnerships across Cape Cod that assists in reaching victims of abuse, and facilitates a prevention curriculum to ten high schools on Cape Cod. To learn more about Independence House, visit www.independencehouse.org and the dedicated teen website at www.independencehouseteens.org.

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