Domestic violence forum aims to educate public

Domestic violence forum aims to educate public


Advocates and survivors are stepping in to teach people who to fight back against domestic violence.

Many people don’t know the warning signs of a troubled relationship or choose not to get involved. This week, Nashville-area organizations hope to change that.

“Domestic violence is more than just a physical situation,” said Ruth Dennis, co-director of the Kelly Miller Smith Center.

The Kelly Miller Smith Center is an organization dedicated to teaching abusers how to correct their behavior.

“The men that come here and we teach them, they are really upset,” Dennis said. “And women, too, they are angry when they first come.”

Saturday, Dennis and other community leaders will hold a forum on domestic violence. Survivors and advocates will teach people how to be active bystanders, spot the signs and step in when they see abuse.

“I think oftentimes people don’t understand the level of importance,” said Brenda Haywood, an advocate against domestic violence. “I don’t think they understand the magnitude of what’s going on in our society and what’s really happening.”

Haywood will attend this weekend’s seminar. She taught in classrooms for years and saw evidence of physical and emotional abuse in young girls.

“You can also tell by the way they reacted to various situations on that day,” Haywood said. “Their temperament was different.”

Experts said remaining silent shows that kind of behavior is acceptable.

If you are a bystander and you suspect abusive behavior, you can speak directly to the victim or speak up against what is happening.

According to resources, abusers can use pressure tactics, blaming, harassment and intimidation in some types of abuse.

These women hope those skills and more will arm people with knowledge.

“This workshop, it’s a tool to educate, build awareness and teach people have to respond,” Haywood said.

The forum on domestic violence will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Goodwill Center on Herman Street.

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Source: NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) Channel 4
Domestic violence forum aims to educate public


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