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Education is key to preventing domestic abuse

On Dec. 14, the PGE Foundation and Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington convened to discuss the important community issue of domestic violence and explore ways local businesses, foundations and citizens can help. The primary topic of the breakfast forum focused on the escalation of domestic violence, which resulted in 17 deaths in 30 days in the Portland region.

“It was made clear to us that more education and outreach is needed to let the public know to report cases of abuse even if they think they don’t want to get involved,” says Carole Morse, PGE Foundation president. “They can be reported anonymously.”

Featured speakers during the Dec. 14 event included Donna Henderson, captain in charge of the Portland Police Bureau’s domestic violence unit; Chiquita Rollins, Multnomah County domestic violence coordinator; and Martha Strawn Morris, executive director of the new Gateway Center for Domestic Violence, which will provide one-stop services for domestic violence victims when it opens in spring 2010.

As a result of this discussion, a number of ways by which Portland citizens and employers can help were identified. Robin Waterman, a specialist with Safety & Health Resources at Portland General Electric advises employers to keep in mind the following warning signs: Resources*: *This list is partial and is intended to help you begin to locate resources to deal with domestic violence. There are additional resources available.

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