Annual domestic violence forum shines light on issue that affects 1 in every 4 women

Annual domestic violence forum shines light on issue that affects 1 in every 4 women

 Ulysses “Butch” Slaughter Jr.
During Christiana Care’s 10th annual forum on domestic violence, Ulysses “Butch” Slaughter Jr. gave a dramatic talk about his own life journey from fear to hatred and ultimately forgiveness, after, at age 12, witnessing his father kill his mother.

In the decade since it first was recognized as a National Community Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, Christiana Care has been working not only to help victims of domestic violence, but also to raise awareness and save lives by promoting prevention through an annual community forum.

Christiana Care recognized the 10th anniversary of this endeavor by hosting a pair of events to further community outreach. A Spanish-language forum was held Oct. 20 during the Strong and Healthy Latinas conference, along with the main 10th Annual Domestic Violence Prevention Forum, held Nov. 8 at Delaware Technical & Community College in Wilmington.

The Nov. 8 event, “Raise the Red Flag to End Domestic Violence,” featured a powerful presentation by domestic-violence survivor Ulysses “Butch” Slaughter Jr., who spoke about growing up in a violent household and, at age 12, listening to his father kill his mother. Slaughter, a successful author, teacher and recent guest on the “Dr. Phil” show, spoke about his journey from fear to hatred and ultimately forgiveness, and the lasting impacts of domestic violence on his life.

Organizers paired his presentation with a call to action, asking the audience to not only be aware of domestic violence, but to intervene and take action to stop it when they see it happening around them.

“He was told to take it, to listen and to watch,” moderator Vincent Poppiti, former chief judge of the Family Court of Delaware, told a rapt audience of 180 after Slaughter’s presentation. “Our message tonight is different: Learn, observe and do something.”

Liz O’Neill, project director, Department of Family and Community Medicine, noted that one in four women will be affected by domestic violence in her lifetime, making domestic violence a significant women’s health issue that cuts across all ethnic, educational and economic groups.

“Over the past 10 years, we’ve recognized that awareness is good, but it’s not good enough,” she said. “The idea of ‘Raise the Red Flag’ is that domestic violence oftentimes is viewed as a private matter. People are reluctant to intervene, but it often takes someone who knows about it from the outside looking in to raise the red flag, intervene safely and provide resources before it escalates.”

Funding was provided by the Christiana Care Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Photo gallery: 10th Annual Domestic Violence Forum

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