The 2011 Statewide Multi-Disciplinary Conference on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault took place on September 29-30, 2011 at the Wyndham Hotel in North Little Rock, AR. The theme was: “Policy, Partnership, and Prevention: Taking a Coordinated Multi-disciplinary Community Approach to Domestic Violence.” The conference was sponsored by the Administrative Office of the Courts through grant funding provided by the Office on Violence Against Women through the U.S. Department of Justice. It was cosponsored by the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ACADV) and the Arkansas Legal Services Partnerships (ALSP). This two-day conference attracted more than 150 attendees from diverse disciplines including judges, prosecutors, clerks, public defenders, law enforcement officials, attorneys, mediators, probation officers, criminal justice students and victim advocates.
Workshops were conducted by out-of-state faculty as well as local trainers. Ohio Municipal Court Judge Ronald Adrine; Wynona I. Ward, an attorney and the founder of “Have Justice-Will Travel, Inc.,” a non-profit organization that brings legal and social services into the rural communities of Vermont; and Steve Aycock, a former Chief Judge of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, who currently serves as the Assistant Director of the Family Violence Department of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges were among the national experts who presented at the conference.
The conference offered instruction on a wide range of topics in a number of workshops. Eleven sessions covered domestic violence and sexual assault. Victim impact stories were presented by local news anchor and author Neile Jones and survivor Vicky Williams, the mother of former Razorback football player DJ Williams. The conference also included a screening of the newly developed “How to Get an Order of Protection in Arkansas” video.
Session and workshop topics dealt with issues relevant to various agencies and professionals who interact with victims of domestic violence. .
The attendees received instruction on subjects including judicial response; multidisciplinary team approach to aiding children who have witnessed domestic violence; the dynamics of domestic violence; the Arkansas Interactive Order of Protection; orders of protection in rural areas; assessing lethality and impact; forfeiture by wrongdoing; using technology to stalk; and immigration (U-visa and T-visas).
By applying the information they learned during the conference, attendees will make a significant impact on the lives of victims within the state of Arkansas. They learned how each agency could communicate with other community partners to assist victims of domestic violence and to eliminate domestic violence within the state.
See Gallery: Pictures of Conference Attendees