Summit on Community Response to Domestic Violence Set for Tomorrow

RIVERSIDE – Finding ways to prevent domestic abuse and improving assistance to victims will be the focus of a summit tomorrow in downtown Riverside, hosted by the Riverside County Superior Court.

”Domestic violence is one of the most secretive and devastating issues we are faced with,” former county Presiding Judge Sherrill Ellsworth said in September when previewing the event, titled ”Connect to Protect: Bridging the Court and the Community.”

”It’s physical and psychological attacks … and affects all socioeconomic regions and all types of families,” the judge said.

During the summit, law enforcement, area tribes, religious groups, civic leaders and nonprofit agencies will explore the roots of the crime and how to better educate the public about prevention.

According to Riverside-based Alternatives to Domestic Violence, which provides direct assistance and counseling to DV victims, one in four women suffers some form of abuse in the home in their lifetime, and more than one- third of all female murder victims die at the hands of an intimate partner or husband.

Those slated to speak at the summit include ADV Executive Officer Eliza Daniely-Woolfolk and Hanish Sinclair, founder of the Manalive Violence Intervention and Prevention Training Institute.

During the daylong event at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium, the court will unveil a Web-based program that allows domestic violence victims to file a request for a temporary restraining order online. The application utilizes a user-friendly tool that completes many of the questions for the petitioner. The form can then be sent electronically to the court for review, saving a person from having to make the trip.

Court officials said there will be an appeal to community organizations to establish ”safe havens” where victims can go to log onto the Internet and access the court system without fear of their alleged abuser finding out.

”Despite this oppressive economy, we can stand up and truly make a difference for many women and children,” Ellsworth said.

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