North Hempstead Hosts a Conference for Students about Relationship Violence
Immediate Release - Contact: David Chauvin November 1, 2005 - (516) 869-7794
New Hyde Park, NY– This year, Supervisor Jon Kaiman and the Town Board marked National Domestic Violence Awareness Month by sponsoring the North Hempstead Supervisor’s Committee Against Family Violence’s special program for high school peer leaders and their advisors.“Let’s Talk! A Conference for Peer Leaders about Relationship Violence” focused on violence-related issues that concern high school students. This is the sixth annual event sponsored by the Supervisor’s Committee, which is co-chaired by Town Clerk Michelle Schimel and Deena Lesser of the Supervisor’s Office, and was the first program designed for an audience of young people. Over 130 students from eleven area high schools, including three religious high schools, took part in the event.
“This program is about prevention,” said Supervisor Kaiman. “As a culture we cannot simply sit back and watch it happen. It is important that we deal with issues of relationship violence before it starts.”
The keynote speaker was the former football star, Don McPherson, Director of the Sports Leadership Institute at Adelphi University. The dynamic Mr. McPherson is a well-known speaker on these issues, one who is effective with both male and female audiences.
“It’s not about what we know as adults, but what we learn as children,” added Mr. McPherson. “It is vital that we begin having an open and honest discussion with our young people about where this abuse comes from.”
Joining the Town in developing this program were the Nassau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV) and the Child Abuse Prevention Society (CAPS), with additional support from ZONTA International, Greater Queens Chapter, an organization dedicated to fostering improved conditions for women worldwide.
“This program will help provide young leaders with tools they need to use against the kind of violence that makes its appearance at an early age and continues to fester and grow throughout the middle and high school years,” said Town Clerk Michelle Schimel.
“Let’s Talk!” featured four breakout sessions on subjects that included Relationship Violence, Date Rape, “Girl Talk” and Sexual Harassment.Students had the opportunity to attend two workshops each and NCCADV and CAPS provided the facilitators for the workshops. NCCADV is Nassau County’s only provider of comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence and rape/sexual assault and has been providing presentations about healthy relationships, dating violence and date rape to students at schools throughout Nassau County. CAPS is a Roslyn based organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and bully and peer harassment with extensive experience working in school settings.