Sexual, domestic violence discussion set for March 22

MIDDLEBURY — The Addison County Democratic Committee is hosting a panel discussion on sexual and domestic violence on Thursday, March 22  from 7 to 9 p.m. at the American Legion in Middlebury. The panel will feature four professionals whose vocation has been the field of sexual and domestic violence. All are  involved daily in efforts to address, to prosecute, to remedy and to prevent sexual assault and domestic violence. The panelists will talk about their work, any gaps in services, how other community members can help, and answer your questions and concerns. Come and learn how they are making a difference in our community.
Panelists include: Kris Bowdish, Detective with Middlebury Police Department; Dennis Wygmans, Addison County State’s Attorney; Kerri Duquette-Hoffman, Executive Director of Womensafe; Melissa Deas, Executive Director of Domestic Violence to Responsible Choices; and Miche Chamberlain Modiba, Director of Addison County Restorative Justice Program (invited as of press time).
As a detective with the police department, Kris Bowdish describes her role as responding to the immediate report of sexual assault and/or domestic violence, as well as ongoing investigative work. “My objective is both the immediate safety of the persons involved, as well as the integrity of the investigation, to ensure a strong case for potential prosecution,” She says.
In speaking of the survivors who come to WomenSafe, Kerri Duquette-Hoffman says, “I am continually amazed by the strength, courage and hope that I witness in the people I work with”.
Melissa Deas, as executive director of the 27-week offender rehabilitation program Domestic Violence to Responsible Choices, describes how “The most powerful understanding DVRC participants can take away from the course is that they get to choose what they believe and who they want to be, and that they have the possibility of choosing to be respectful men”
Refreshments will be provided.
The event is a fundraiser for the Addison County Democratic Committee. Suggested donation is $20 at the door. A share of the proceeds will be contributed to WomenSafe.

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