Increase in domestic violence incidents met with education and resources

The Jennifer A. Lynch Forum for Domestic Violence this past March was a huge success, and planning for next years event is already in the works.

On March 5th, the Jennifer A. Lynch Foundation held its 3rd annual forum on domestic violence.  The aim of the forum was to bring the issues of domestic violence back into the conversation and talk about it in conjunction with related issues such as probate law, immigration and child psychology.

The forum, held at Newbury College, drew close to one hundred and fifty people (more then anticipated) and did exactly what those who organized it hoped it would, with a spirited turn out and many impassioned speeches and presentations from those closest to the issues.

Former Massachusetts Governor Paul Sallucci delivered the keynote speech, but was joined by an impressive panel including Maureen O’Sullivan who spoke at length about immigration law and how it relates to domestic violence, District Attorney William Keating who spoke about domestic violence and criminal law and Dr. Amy Tishelman of the Boston Childrens Hospital who concentrated on the psychological effects of domestic violence with a focus on children.

Dr. Susan Howards, co-chair of the foundation, notes that domestic violence is on the rise again due to a variety of factors, including increased stress among families due to the economic climate, but a more important factor, simply because it is one which can be controlled, is the lack of awareness and accessibility to resources for women and men who are victims of domestic abuse.

“If a theme had to be pinpointed”, Howards continued, “it’s that it is up to us to take control of the situation, pay more attention to battery and violent crimes and increase the efficiency and volume of the resources needed to both prevent domestic violence, and aid those already in crisis.”

The forum has since received an incredible amount of positive feedback and the committee is already in the planning stages for next years event to be held on the same date (tentative), with keynote speaker Linda Mills, Vice Provost at NYU already set to speak about alternative services for battery victims.

Please visit http://www.brooklinema.gov/lynchfund/updates.php or check back with the HUB for more information as the date nears.

If you would like to get involved with the fight against domestic violence in Mass. or need a resource please visit http://www.janedoe.org/Safety/safety_dv_shelters.htm for a list of organizations and hotlines.

by David Watsky