Seminar to discuss domestic violence

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


In capping off the events of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Washington County Domestic Violence Coalition will hold a domestic violence educational symposium at the Washington Public Library Friday.

The event begins at 9 a.m. with keynote speaker Vicki Crompton. On Sept. 26, 1986, Crompton?s daughter Jenny, 15 at the time, was murdered by Jenny?s 18-year-old boyfriend Mark Smith. According to records, he stabbed her 60 times with a butcher knife in the family?s living room. It was later that Vicki learned the relationship had been abusive the whole time they had been seeing each other.

Vicki Crompton now spends about four weeks a year speaking about dating violence to adolescents and telling Jenny?s story, hoping that it will help teens recognize dating violence. She says she can always tell by their eye contact which teenagers are in abusive relationships.

She recommends that parents of daughters in romantic relationships ask themselves these questions and take these steps:

? Is the boyfriend possessive or does he try to isolate the girl?

? Does he talk about their future?

? Get to know the boyfriend and his family.

? If you suspect your daughter is in an abusive relationship, talk to the boyfriend?s parents.

Help your child realize she could be in danger.

Help give your child the strength to break up firmly and with finality.

Crompton has been on several national media shows, such as the Oprah Winfrey Show and 60 Minutes telling Jenny?s story. She has also written a book titled ?Saving Beauty from the Beast.?

The audience will then move into breakout sessions that will include discussions on traumatic brain injuries and criminal and legal issues. There also will be lunch served and there will be a domestic violence panel discussion.

For more information, contact Domestic Abuse Advocate and coalition president Brad Koenig at 319-457-0027.

Earlier this month, a line of purple and blue ribbons was hung along the outside of Central Park. The national statistics for domestic violence are that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will be victims of severe violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. The Domestic Violence Coalition took the population of Washington County and figured out females and 1,570 WA Co. males. There are 2,814 purple ribbons and 1,570 blue ribbons on those clotheslines.