Conference targets domestic violence

Seeking novel solutions to the problem of domestic violence against San Mateo County's most vulnerable women will be the goal of a diversely represented conference in San Mateo Friday.

“Domestic violence cuts across all social and ethnic lines but we know that women from minority and other traditionally underserved populations often face substantial hurdles before they seek help,” said Supervisor Mark Church, a conference organizer.

Church said he hopes the conference will help develop ways to reach out to women from poor and immigrant populations, who often have to contend with language barriers, limited access to social or legal services, and immigration status concerns that can be exploited by their abusers.

The conference, “Improving Outreach in Our Diverse Community,” is sponsored by and will include representatives from the County of San Mateo, Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse (CORA), the San Mateo County Health Foundation, the San Mateo County Police Chiefs and Sheriffs Association, the San Mateo County Bar Association, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, the Commission on the Status of Women, and the county Probation Department and District Attorney's Office, among others.

The keynote speaker will be Sujata Warrier, director of the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, who co-founded the nation's first domestic violence program for South Asian women. Other panelists will represent the Latino, Pacific Islander, African-American and other communities.

CORA Executive Director Melissa Lukin called the conference “a unique opportunity for members of the community to share information about what's working and to create new strategies for reaching traditionally underserved populations in the County.”

The free event takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the College of San Mateo. For more information or to register, call (650) 363-4571 or visit http://www.co.sanmateo.ca.us/domesticviolenceconference.

— Bay City News 

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