Event to explore domestic violence in affluent communities


By Ann Marie Shambaugh

It may not be easy to talk about, but many community leaders believe a discussion about domestic violence is one that needs to be had.

That’s why the Domestic Violence Network, Prevail and the Hamilton County Leadership Academy are partnering to host Community Conversation: What Does Domestic Violence Look Like in Affluent Communities? The free event is from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Hamilton East Public Library, 1 Library Plaza in Noblesville.


Guests will hear perspectives from law enforcement, prosecutors, victim services and a survivor of domestic violence.

“We hope to provide attendees with takeaways that will help them to support survivors and work toward a community that does not tolerate domestic violence,” said Susan Ferguson, executive director of Prevail.

Many people associate domestic violence with poverty, but it’s an issue that affects everyone, Ferguson said.

“This event provides an opportunity to look a little deeper into how affluence may intersect with domestic violence, in contrast to what many may stereotypically think of, the intersection of poverty and domestic violence,” she said. “We know that domestic violence crosses all economic barriers. We look forward to discussing things like resources that may or may not be available, stigma that may exist, and how traditional services may or may not meet the needs of those seeking help.”


Mary-Margaret Sweeney, director of community engagement at Indianapolis-based Domestic Violence Network, said that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men experience domestic violence. Even if victims haven’t spoken out, it’s likely that most people know someone who’s been affected, she said.

The event is designed to present a tough topic in an “uplifting” way, Sweeney said.

“Often, people are hesitant to attend events around a topic like this because they believe it is going to be upsetting and bring down their evening,” Sweeney said. “While this subject is difficult, we also intend to highlight the work going on to end domestic violence and how your community is working to support survivors.”

Register for the program at hcla.net/calendar/details/community-conversation-what-does-domestic-violence-look-like-in-affluent-co.


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