WOMEN'S ISSUES Workshop on abuse draws a crowd
The workshop included a self-protection demonstration by a city police officer.
YOUNGSTOWN -- A group of people, mostly women, packed a room at the downtown YWCA on Rayen Avenue to learn more about violent crimes committed against women.
Nurses, social workers, psychologists, police officers and victims of abuse attended Thursday's workshop, which focused on the different types of abuse that target women and what people can do to help victims.
Among the speakers was Youngstown Detective Sgt. Delphine Baldwin-Casey, who created the city police department's Crisis Intervention Unit.
The unit brings together the police department and social workers to help domestic-violence victims, most of whom are women.
"Since March is considered Women's History Month, it was the perfect time to hold this event," Casey said. "We wanted to have this workshop to bring together social services and the police department because they need to work together to stop abuse issues."
The workshop was presented by R. & amp;D. Kasey Consultant, a consulting service created by Casey and her husband, Ronald. Its goal is to provide women who are victims of abuse and sexual assault with the services and consulting they need.
The workshop, called "The Many Faces of Abuse," dealt with violent crimes that mostly affect women. Besides sexual assault and domestic violence, women are usually the victims in stalking, child abuse and elder abuse, the speakers said.
The workshop dedicated an hour to each of the types of abuses that target women, with a self-protection demonstration provided by Officer Melissa Morales, a YPD investigator, at the end.
Pam Washington, a social worker with the Help Hotline Crisis Center Inc., spent some time discussing cases in history where women had to fight for their rights. She later referred to the recent case involving basketball player Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant is accused of raping a young woman in a Colorado hotel last summer. He was in Colorado for surgery. He maintains the sexual act was consensual, and that he didn't rape the woman.
"At least one good thing will come of this case," Washington said. "People are starting to talk and think critically about these [sexual abuse] issues."
Since the room had only a handful of men, Casey took a moment at the beginning of her speech about domestic violence to address them.
"I am glad you are here; and don't worry because there will be no male bashing," she said. "Because we all know that behind every great woman ... is herself."