UMBC will host the 4th Annual Crime Victims Rights Summit on Monday, April 18, 7-9 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom. The event, sponsored by UMBC’s Police Department, the Baltimore County Police Department and Catonsville- and Arbutus-area organizations, is free and open to the public.
This year’s summit focuses on relationship violence and will address the following issues: determining who is at risk, identifying warning signs, escaping dangerous relationships and understanding bystander intervention. There also will be a discussion on the role of the victim during prosecution.
Keynote speakers are Yasmin Karimian, president of UMBC’s Student Government Association; State’s Attorney for Baltimore County Scott Shellenberger; and William D. Mitchell, president and founder of the Kristin Mitchell Foundation, which supports educational efforts that raise awareness among young adults about the dangers of unhealthy dating relationships. Mitchell’s daughter was murdered by her boyfriend while in the midst of a breakup.
Panelists are Kim Leisey, UMBC associate vice president for student affairs and chair of the Verizon Foundation Relationship Violence Prevention Grant Committee, and Deborah Miller, domestic violence coordinator for the Baltimore County Police Department.
“Recognizing the victims of crime and especially those victims of domestic violence is especially important as it affects each of us in some way,” said Karimian. “The only way we can address the issue of domestic violence as a community is if we begin to spread the word and show the support we can provide to the victims. The summit will continue this needed conversation and will open the eyes and ears of community members to signs of domestic violence while showing the strong support our community has for victims and those affected by it.”
This fall, UMBC launched a campaign against relationship violence, funded by a grant from the Verizon Foundation. The campaign includes a lecture series, campus awareness programs and a relationship violence prevention advocates group. The campus also has a longstanding Voices Against Violence program designed to address issues around domestic or relationship violence, sexual assault, and other forms of person-to-person violence, including stalking and sexual harassment.
The summit was founded to support National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs and the Office for Victims of Crime.
Sponsors for the April 18 event include the UMBC Police Department, the Arbutus Business & Professional Organization, Baltimore County Police Department – Wilkens Precinct 1, CCBC Foundation Catonsville, CCBC School of Justice, Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce, Lansdowne Business & Professional Assocation, Saint Agnes Hospital, Soroptimist International of Arbutus, and the Wilkens Police & Community Relations Organization.
For more information, contact the UMBC Police Department at ext. 5-5555.