Klamath Falls seminar targets family violence

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Ending family violence is the focus of a symposium now underway at Oregon Tech. The family violence symposium began Monday morning.

Nearly 400 people are registered, covering a wide mix of professionals. “We have educators, law enforcement, child welfare, self-sufficiency, medical,” explained DHS District Manager Jeremy Player. “All of us deal with violence in the home on a daily basis.”

It’s estimated that two out of every three kids will experience at least one traumatic event before the age of 16.

Dr. Chelsey Torgerson wants to partner with local school districts to help kids heal. “Schools can be a place of healing,” Torgerson said, “and that sometimes in order to learn, healing has to take place.”

Changes are also ahead for corrections and prosecution.

“For years and years we’ve been doing treatment programs that were shame-based, and demeaning,” explained Klamath County District Attorney Eve Costello. “Those have been incredibly ineffective, with only 6% at the highest reduction in recidivism rates.”

But, Costello added that some things will not change for those convicted of domestic violence. “They will still have to plead guilty, they will still be involved in a court treatment process. It’s just that they will voluntarily participate in a treatment program.”

The Klamath County Family Violence Symposium continues Tuesday at Oregon Tech. The program is offered to the public free of charge.

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