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Local groups spread awareness with panel on domestic violence

Domestic Violence speaker MayesA board of community experts spread awareness of relationship abuse at the Domestic Violence Panel Discussion in Lamar University's Landes Auditorium, Oct. 23.

Students and community members gathered to learn about warning signs, the cycle of abuse, resources for victims and abusers and more from the panel hosted by the Family Services of Southeast Texas, and LU sororities Alpha Chi Omega, Delta Sigma Theta, Delta Xi Nu and Sigma Sigma Ro.

Domestic Violence panelThe panel featured Deborah Tomov, family violence director for Family Services; Christina Mason, battering intervention and prevention director for Family Services; Johnnie Stewart, special investigator, Department of Family Protective Services; Misty Craver, Victims Assistance Center; Minister Antoinette Mays, Bruised but Not Broken, St. Peter Baptist Church; Shana Mercer, Licenced Professional Counselor; Darla Daigle, Crisis Center of Southeast Texas; and representatives from the Lamar University Police Department.

Domestic Violence panelThe group stressed the importance of taking action and what one should do if they, or someone they know, is in an abusive relationship.

"It is our job to speak out and take a stand," Mays said. "We have to hold our brothers and sisters accountable."

For more information, contact Family Services of Southeast Texas at (409) 833-2668 or visit www.westrengthenfamilies.org.