New symposium plans to teach about domestic violence and give survivors platforms

By DENISSE GONZALEZ-RAMIREZ
On October 20, 2021

Photo courtesy of Anete Lusina, Pexels.

A Domestic Abuse Symposium will be held on Oct. 27 in New Milford, N.J., to provide a resource for victims and survivors. The program will also act as an educational outlet, as well, teaching advocates how to support anyone that may be in such a position. 

Matthew Seymour, an attorney who works as a municipal public defender as well as a private practice lawyer, has prepared the anticipated local symposium. He shared some responses to some questions about domestic violence in an interview, pushing the conversation a bit further.

During his fellowship he met survivors of domestic violence by participating in organizations such as “Partners for Women in Justice.” It was by helping these advocacy agencies that Seymour knew he wanted to carry the torch. 

“I felt the need to do as much as I could do to provide resources to domestic abuse survivors,” he said.

Seymour then proceeded to mention the importance of bringing people together to continue the dialogue. He felt that bringing guest speakers and advocate agencies together provided a unique opportunity for survivors to hear and discuss the topic.

“It’s a chance to hear information about the help that is available,” he mentioned. His passion to help was transparent in the way he addressed all of the questions presented to him. 

Support systems and caring communities surrounding the victim’s life are quintessential to navigating such situations, he explained. “People should feel loved and supported in seeking the help that they need to escape an abusive relationship, they should not hesitate to ask for help and support. There are many people and many resources and agencies available that are capable and willing to help in any way that they can.”

Seymour continued to stress that there will never be a cap on what can be done to help victims. There are resources that can help them work through the pain and hurt that they may feel, such as therapy and counseling, but he believes that there should always be as many resources available as possible. 

“I would suggest that anyone who wants to be an advocate should reach out to agencies and gather information on different ways on how to help, find your niche, your preferred way to volunteer,” Seymour encouraged.

He knows that the more people who help by providing a platform for victims to speak and advocate for their well-being, the better. Seymour also emphasized that there are dozens of opportunities through organizations for people to participate and each agency would love to help get new members acclimated. 

Domestic violence is a serious matter that deserves to be spoken about and brought into the light. It is a discussion that may be uncomfortable, but necessary. Taking the time to learn and educate each other on the topic carries benefits in itself.

The symposium will be available for viewing online as it will be livestreamed. It will also grant participants the opportunity to remain anonymous if they wish to do so.

 

dgonza15@ramapo.edu

 

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