Sunday, April 22, 2007

Conference focuses on elder abuse

PAXTON —WORCESTER COUNTY , MASS. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Tracy Breton will deliver the keynote address, “Elder Abuse and Exploitation,” during a conference from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday in the Zecco Performing Arts Center at Anna Maria College.

Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. will participate. The conference, which is free, is sponsored by the college’s Molly Bish Center for the Protection of Children and the Elderly and commemorates National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. It is geared toward law enforcement, counselors, educators, advocates, members of the community and college students.

Three sessions will focus on dating and domestic violence and men’s resources; family violence and psychological trauma; and victim rights and the post-conviction process.

Participating in the conference are: Carmen Nieves of Women Shelter/Companeras of Holyoke; Scott Girard of the Amherst-based Men’s Resource Center for Change, who has appeared on “Oprah” and CBS’s “48 Hours”; Jessie Stanley of the New Hope Shelter in Webster; psychotherapist Kathleen Norbut, coordinator of the Family Violence Intervention Coalition in Palmer; Lory Santoro of Daybreak Shelter in Worcester; Erin Gaffney, director of the Victim Services Unit for the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, and Margaret Kwaramba-Baez, director of the Victim Witness Assistance Program of the Worcester district attorney’s office.

The conference, which includes lunch, is funded by a Community Awareness Program grant from the National Office for Victims of Crime. Registration is required. To register, call the Molly Bish Center at (508) 849-3257.

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