Managing Violence at Home Workshop of 2008 – Special Guest Speakers – Dr. Rosalyn Pitts, Beverly Mays, MA and Anna D. Banks, GCDF. The panel and discussion was moderated by Commissioner Bridgette Obradovic, Governors Advisory Commission on African American Affairs.

Responding to the need for discussion, education and awareness about domestic violence issues, the Women’s Empowerment Initiative (WEI) of the Presbytery of Philadelphia, PCUSA and the Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs (GACAAA) sponsored the “Managing Violence at Home” workshop on Saturday, November 22, 2008. The workshop was hosted at the Women’s Empowerment Center at 4950 Aspen Street, Philadelphia, PA.

The increasing number of Domestic Violence abuse cases especially among the women, in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania, is alarming. The following statistics are an indication of the severity these insidious crimes:

• Currently, Philadelphia is averaging about 1 out of every 4 women being abused, either physically or sexually, or otherwise coerced into sexual behavior by their partner.

• One in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape.

• Almost one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.

• The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year. $4.1 billion of which is for direct medical and mental health services.

Opening remarks were given by Wanda McNeil, WEI President, who issued a warm welcome to all attendees. The half-day program featured a “Managing Violence at Home” panel & small group discussions moderated by Commissioner Brigette Obradovic. Featured panelist included Dr. Rosalyn Pitts of Pitts Psychological Services; Beverly Mays, MA, Therapist, Drug & Alcohol Counselor and Anna D. Banks, GCDF, professional trainer, domestic violence awareness advocate, and radio talk show host from
New Jersey.

Brief remarks were also given by Sonya M. Toler, Executive Director of Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs.

About Women’s Empowerment Initiative (WEI):

The Women’s Empowerment Initiative (WEI) is dedicated to impacting the lives of women disadvantaged by social or economic circumstances. The initiative will enable women to enhance and develop their quality of life and become architects of their future by presenting opportunities for spiritual, educational and economic transformation.

The imitative is committed to empowering women, thereby strengthening families and transforming communities.

About Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs (GACAAA):

GACAA is committed to assisting African Americans in gaining full access to all opportunities afforded to the citizens of the Commonwealth. The Commission members, appointed by the Governor, bring extensive talent, expertise and knowledge to the Commonwealth and are dedicated to working with the Governor, his staff and all sincere Pennsylvanians who share a belief in the concepts of equal justice, opportunity and equality for all of our citizens.

The commission is solution-oriented and committed to creating the necessary linkages, both private and public; to assure inclusion of African Americans at all levels within the Commonwealth.

This holistic approach of working with all people of goodwill will insure the success of the Commission and the full citizenship rights of its African American citizens.