Children exposed to violence is subject of Mercyhurst panel

A panel, convened to draw attention to children exposed to violence and the local responses to help them, will take place at Mercyhurst University on Tuesday, April 24, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in Mercy Heritage Room, Sullivan Hall.

The program, “Defending Children Exposed to Violence,” is an offering of the Mercyhurst Civic Institute and the Evelyn Lincoln Institute for Ethics and Society. It is free and open to the public.

Researchers have found that children exposed to violence, whether as victims or witnesses, often suffer long-term physical, psychological and emotional harm. They are also at greater risk of engaging in criminal behavior later in life.

The panelists will describe local programs for children exposed to violence and discuss efforts to break the cycle of violence and victimization. The impetus for the panel is the national “Defending Children” initiative, which seeks to prevent children’s exposure to violence, reduce its negative effects and increase awareness.

Civic Institute Director Amy Eisert will moderate the forum that includes Charlotte Berringer, R.N., director of community health for the Erie County Department of Health; Carol Finotti, sexual assault counselor/victim advocate, Crime Victims Center of Erie County; Sue Kuligowski, director of medical outreach programs and projects at SAFENET; Marshall J. Piccinini, assistant U.S. attorney; and Thomas Vinca, president and CEO, Family Services of NW PA.

Refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact Amy Eisert, 824-2551.
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