September 20, 2004
Contact: David Chauvin
Town Promotes Awareness about Domestic Violence
Manhasset, NY- Supervisor Jon Kaiman announced this week the upcoming 5th annual “Wake-up Call Against Family Violence” breakfast, sponsored by the North Hempstead Supervisor’s Committee Against Family Violence, to take place on October 21, 2004 from 7:45 to 9:45 AM at Clinton G. Martin Community Center located on Marcus Avenue near New Hyde Park Road. The event, which marks National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, will focus again this year on youth -- “Sexual Harassment of Kids by Kids as a Precursor to Relationship Violence”.
“As a government official, a resident, a husband and a father, I understand that community awareness is the first step toward ending this private crime that thrives on concealment. It is not well known that relationship abuse often begins as early as Middle School and education about this threat in our schools is a great step towards reaching this goal,” said Supervisor Jon Kaiman.
Teen dating violence is a problem that is reported to parallel adult domestic violence in its frequency – abuse occurs in one out of five relationships. Harassment of youth by youth, which can begin in middle school, often sets the stage for relationship abuse. For victims, the outcomes of abusive relationships are far reaching. They may include a reduction in academic potential due to anxiety or depression, injury, illness or chronic pain; unwanted pregnancy; truancy or dropping out of school. All too often, the harassment that sets the stage for the ensuing problems goes unrecognized by adults and there is no appropriate intervention. Most teachers have few guidelines to follow and schools tend not to establish protocols until after a tragedy occurs.
Kaiman added, “The best way to stop abusive relationships is to prevent them from the start -- stop the harassment and violence at the beginning in the hallways of our schools. This is an important program for all who are involved with teens – youth group staff, secondary school personnel, religious leaders, parents and grandparents. Information and shared efforts will save lives.”
The keynote speaker for the program will be Dr. Charol Shakeshaft, professor at Hofstra University. A panel of experts moderated by Alane Fagin, Executive Director of the Child Abuse Prevention Service (CAPS) will follow. Panelists will be Mary Bonner, Assistant Superintendent and Title IX coordinator of the Great Neck School District; Patti Cathers, Director of Program & Volunteer Services for CAPS; Stuart Napear, an educator who speaks with young men about issues of sexual harassment and assault; and a young person who will talk about her own experience with harassment as a student. There will be time for questions from the floor at the close of the program.
The “Wake Up Call” Breakfast on Thursday, October 21st, 7:45 AM, at Clinton G. Martin Park in New Hyde Park is free, however an RSVP to 869-7793 is important.
For more information about the North Hempstead Committee on Family Violence, call its Chair, Deena Lesser at 869-7712. However, if someone you know needs help, call the 24-hour, hotline number of the Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 542-0404.