2nd Annual Safety Summit for Women and Children
The second Annual Safety Summit hosted by Philadelphia’s District Attorney’s Office, will be held Saturday Oct. 25 as a free public forum that provides information and resources to discuss safety, domestic violence issues and ways to prevent them.
“Nobody likes to think this stuff happens and we all want to think the best of other people,” said James Carpenter, chief of the Family Violence and Sexual Assault unit. “But just because is unpleasant, it doesn’t mean is not happening and you just can’t ignore it.”
The event will present experts in 45-minute informational sessions that will be able to answer questions from the audience.“The domestic violence session will be offered in both English and Spanish. For the other sessions, we will try to provide translators for non-English speakers,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter said he encourages people to attend even if they are not victims of these crimes. The workshops will also address what to do if you have a family member who has been affected by these issues.
“Everybody could run into these situations There is a lot that you can do as an individual to help people around you who are suffering from these things,” Carpenter said. “You might be a young woman with no kids, but you might know a friend who is in an abusive relationship. Well, what should you do?”
He said that one of the greatest challenges in his job is getting people to report these crimes, and for people to stand up and talk about it openly. “All these crimes are very under reported. If you get robbed at gun-point you are probably going to call the police, if you get beaten up by your husband you probably won’t call the police.”
According to Carpenter, on average, before a woman decides to get a protection from abuse order (PFA), there have been 12 to 13 instances of violence and one in four women are domestically abused.
“Abusers often try to isolate their victims. The best response for a friend or a family member is to make sure you keep in touch with that person,” Carpenter said.
He said there is a similar pattern with childhood sexual abuse. “There is no crystal ball, but most of that abuse is committed by someone who knows the kid or is close to the family. And it is way under reported.”
In the case of children’s sexual abuse, they see only 15 to 20 percent of what is actually going on with victims. A real serial pedofile usually has about 100 victims. “People think ‘I am not going to report is because it is uncle Bob, everybody know he is just the touchy uncle.’ But predators count on the fact that people and victims won’t speak up. So they try to make the victims feel like it is their fault that this happens.”
The summit will take place at the High School for the Future, 4021 Parkside Avenue, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with workshops that include: Escaping an abusive relationship, Internet/social media awareness for teens, and women’s self defense tips.
If you would like to attend you can register at www.dasethwilliamssafetysummit.vpweb.com
For more information call (215) 686-8715