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Preventing Family Violence Workshop set for Nov. 2 at McNeese

Last Modified: Monday, October 08, 2012 8:52 PM

By Natalie Stewart / American Press

The People’s Advocate is sponsoring its fourth annual Preventing Family Violence Workshop to execute a plan and create a “blueprint for change,” the organization’s co-founder said.

Beth Zilbert said the workshop was started as a way to get together people in every different agency that deals with family violence in order to devise a plan to eliminate violence.

“It’s a way for everyone in the five-parish area to work together and talk with each other about their piece of the puzzle,” she said. “Working collaboratively can help reduce the number of family violence cases we see.”

Zilbert said the workshop began four years ago after she sat in on a trial as a Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteer.

She recalled that an Office of Child Services worker testified about why the children needed to be removed from the home. One reason, she said, was “evidence of animal abuse.”

“It was a missed opportunity because a link wasn’t connected between animal abuse and child abuse, and those happen all the time. We’re trying to get the whole picture of violence occurring in a family and really do something about it as a whole and not just piece by piece.”

The first year’s workshop focused on adolescent victims and perpetrators of sexual assault. In other years, she said, the link between animal abuse and domestic violence were discussed.

Zilbert said this year’s theme is “creating the blueprint for change.”

“We will have small groups with facilitators to help participants come up with a blueprint for change and what we want to see happen and how we think it needs to happen,” she said. “Then, we will come up with an implementation plan for how we are going to make this happen. We’ll be rolling up our sleeves and coming up with all of this together.”

Zilbert said more than 100 people are expected to attend. The conference continues to grow annually.

The workshop is scheduled for Nov. 2 at McNeese State University and CEU and CLE credits can be obtained from attending, Zilbert said.

She said the first 100 to pre-register will have their names entered into a raffle for prizes at the workshop. There will be a reception the night before.

For more information or to register contact The People’s Advocate at 436-3475 or visit

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