UT Health Science Center To Host Community Event to End Domestic Violence; Build Healthy Relationships

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UT Health Science Center will join community partners to present a morning event designed to foster healthy relationships in Memphis.

On Saturday, October 1, 2016, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) will partner with the Memphis Crisis Center, Family Safety Center and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., to present a community event aimed at ending domestic violence, resolving conflicts peacefully and building healthy relationships. “Bridging Troubled Waters, a Community Conversation” will feature a keynote address by former Memphis reporter/anchor Dee Griffin, who is a domestic violence survivor.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the UTHSC Student Alumni Center, 800 Madison Avenue. It will offer breakout sessions, during which participants can get advice, support and resources. Topics include Relationship Health 101, Trauma and Suicide, Family Impact of Domestic Violence, Healthy Sexual Boundaries and Victim’s Rights.

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one person to gain or maintain power and control over another person, according to the Family Safety Center, which aids victims of family violence. More than 50 percent of all local violent crime is domestic crime, the center reports.

“Domestic violence rates are epidemic in Memphis and Shelby County,” said Olliette Murry-Drobot, executive director of the Family Safety Center. “We know that our children are growing up exposed to this violence. One-third of these children will grow up to become an abuser, and another one-third will grow up to become a victim. These are learned behaviors, and education is the key to preventing domestic violence and breaking the cycle in our community.”

The center also reports that the rate of violence between adults in the home is higher in Shelby County (22 percent) than in Tennessee (19 percent) and nationwide (16 percent). In 2015, there were 12 intimate-partner domestic violence homicides, including one murder-suicide.

“Any issue that affects our community is an issue we are compelled not only to address, but to work with community leaders and partners to bring about a positive change,” said Pam Houston, director of Special Events and Community Affairs at UTHSC. “Helping to improve the quality of life in our community is our goal and what we do as an institution.”

Bridging Trouble Waters is free and open to the public. A light breakfast and lunch will be served. Reservations are encouraged, as seating is limited. Registration is available at www.uthsc.edu/btw or by calling 448-2704. Doors open at 8 a.m. The program begins at 9 a.m.

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