Alaska communities join forces to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault

Communities from around Alaska will meet in Juneau to talk about domestic violence and sexual assault prevention. (Photo from the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault)

Community members from Alaska towns as large as Anchorage and as small as Allakaket are in Juneau for the second annual Prevention Summit sponsored by the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. The council is under the state Department of Public Safety.

The three-day summit at Centennial Hall brings together teams from 19 communities. Each team has at least three members. “They’re victim service providers, first responders such as maybe law enforcement or healthcare providers, tribal representatives, as well as just people interested in preventing violence in their community,” says council executive director Lauree Morton.

Teams will be working on strengthening existing prevention strategies and developing new ones.

“It’s an opportunity for communities across the state to get together and talk to each other about what is working and what else they want to do to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault,” Morton explains.

The summit features presenters from around the state and outside the state, many who are experts in their field. One of the workshops will be with Green Dot, a national non-profit organization that is working with several communities in Alaska on an intervention program.

Morten says youth from Juneau and Sitka will also be highlighted at the summit, “young adults who are actually implementing strategies in their high schools on reducing violence.”

First Lady Sandy Parnell kicks off the second annual Prevention Summit Tuesday at 11 am. Opening remarks will also be made by Morton, Alaska Native Sisterhood grand president Freda Westman, and Alaska Native Brotherhood Grand President Bill Martin.

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