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April 30th, 2009

Violence Connects Women, Children and Pets



Hyde Park - Three local non-profit organizations, all experts in their respective fields, have joined forces in an effort to reduce patterns of violence. The Dutchess County SPCA, which provides humane shelter for abandoned, neglected and abused animals; Grace Smith House, which provides shelter and support services for victims of Domestic Violence; and, the Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse which provides education, intervention and prevention of child abuse are putting together a seminar called The Connection: The Link Between Animal Cruelty and Human Violence. The seminar will be at the Wallace Center at the FDR Site in Hyde Park on May 14, 2009 . It will begin at 8:30 am and end at 1 pm .

By joining forces, the three nonprofit organizations, are sending a powerful message to the community and beyond. They hope the seminar will reach deep into the public psyche and help people comprehend this cycle of abuse. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Harry Hovel, of the New York State Humane Association. There will be a panel discussion following the keynote speaker with ample opportunity for dialogue and questions. At the conclusion, there will be a session addressing ‘where do we go from here?” The goal is to help make people aware of the overlap of these three types of abuse and neglect of animals and humans. By heightening public awareness of the how violent behavior is connected toward different targets, early intervention and prevention is possible.

“At the DCSPCA, or in the law enforcement community, we often see violent behavior directed toward animals. But we haven’t been taught that it may be a signal of other types of abuse which happen behind closed doors and in secrecy.  Joyce Garrity, Executive Director -  DCSPCA, Judy20Lombardi -  Executive Director, Grace Smith House and Sue Gould, Executive Director – The Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse – all agree that this type of education will be an awakening for a lot of professionals, social service organizations, educators and individuals.

All three organizations realized they could have more of an impact by working together. They are integrated as they recognize the important link between the acts of violence toward victims of domestic abuse, child abuse, and cruelty to animals. They believe that early recognition of these indicators of abuse will lead to quicker and safer response times, as well as reporting and appropriate referrals.

Professionals, other nonprofit organizations educators, law enforcement, health care providers and the public are invited to attend. There is a registration fee. For reservations, contact the DCSPC, 636 Violet Avenue , Hyde Park . (845-454-5345 x 100).
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