YWCA Union County, UCPO hosting Domestic Violence Symposium at Kean University

YWCA Union County, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, and a group of additional dedicated co-sponsors are teaming up to host a first-of-its kind event on Thursday, April 10, when the Union County C.A.R.E.S. (Community, Action, Response, Education, Safety) Domestic Violence Symposium will be held at Kean University in Union Township.

The symposium is scheduled to take place 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. April 10 at Kean’s state-of-the-art STEM Center. It will be open to the media, and local elected officials, law-enforcement representatives, educators, social workers, healthcare professionals, and other community leaders have been invited to experience an in-depth look at an area of major public health and safety concern. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence estimates that 1.3 million women become victims of physical violence by an intimate partner annually in the U.S., and in 2011, the last year for which comprehensive statistics are available, Union County municipal police departments handled more than 3,700 domestic violence calls – an average of more than 10 every day.

The symposium – which is being co-sponsored by Kean University, the Rutgers University School of Social Work’s Center on Violence Against Women and Children, Trinitas Regional Medical Center, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, and Verizon – will feature a screening of the award-winning documentary Telling Amy’s Story, plus a live appearance by Detective Deirdri Fishel, who investigated the circumstances of the real-life events that led to the film being made. The program also will feature four panels of local speakers discussing how domestic violence can be addressed and combated by law enforcement, private employers, religious institutions, and medical facilities.

“The idea for a Domestic Violence Symposium grew out of the YWCA’s community education and outreach initiatives, and the recognition that engaging the broader community is the only way to put an end to domestic violence,” YWCA Union County Executive Director Janice C. Lilien said. “Increased understanding and a wider array of support systems, along with holding abusers accountable for their actions, can help build a community that does not tolerate it.”

“Domestic violence is a problem that too often gets marginalized, concealed, or downright ignored, which is particularly disconcerting considering its prevalence,” acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park added. “We are extremely pleased to be partnering with YWCA Union County in an effort to bring attention to this issue and foster understanding about how it can be addressed.”

A web page and email address have been created in order to offer background information about the symposium; they can be accessed online at and via email at Information about the event also will be broadcasted via several forms of social media using the hashtag #uccares.

For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact Union County Prosecutor’s Office Director of Communications Mark Spivey at 908-527-4621.