Conference to focus on domestic violence issue

Published 8:17 pm Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Domestic violence and its effects will be the subject for a two-day conference Thursday and Friday at the Vicksburg Auditorium.

The program is sponsored by the Vicksburg Domestic Violence Victims’ Empowerment Program, Vicksburg Municipal Court and the city of Vicksburg.

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The Thursday session is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with registration starting at 8:30 a.m. Orders for a box lunch will be taken during registration. The lunches are $8 each. The Friday session begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Lunch will be served from noon to 1 p.m.

Municipal Judge Toni Terrett, one of the program’s organizers, said the decision to expand the conference was based on the success of the first Domestic Violence Conference held in 2017.

“The response was overwhelming,” she said. “We had more than 100 people attend the conference last year, it was a mix of law enforcement people and professionals from across the state, and local residents who came to learn more about domestic violence.”

Terrett said this year’s program will be divided into two parts, with the Thursday session being an education session and Friday serving as an informative session.

Speakers for the Thursday session will be special assistant attorney general Paula Broome, who will discuss domestic violence from a legal perspective, and Vicksburg physician Dr. Randy Easterling, an addiction specialist who will talk about domestic violence and drug and alcohol abuse.

Social work professionals, Terrett said, can receive social work and peer support continuing education credit units for attending the Thursday session. She said a request is pending for continuing legal education credits for the session. There will be a $10 course fee at registration.

The Friday session, she said, will feature speakers and a panel discussion with security officials from local businesses and government agencies discussing how they protect employees and customers from domestic violence in the workplace.

Friday’s session will open with an address from Wendy Mahoney of the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Other speakers will be Gregory Ramses Fultz, a domestic violence victim, predator and now advocate, who will talk about his experience in the sex trafficking trade, and Christy Pickering, a domestic violence survivor and motivational speaker.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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