Domestic violence costs the legal system money and resources, disrupts the work place and forces many women onto public assistance, said JoAn Viele-Lyman, head of a domestic violence program at the Family Service Agency of Burbank.
Viele-Lyman runs the Community Awareness, Response and Education program for the Family Service Agency, which counsels both battered women and--as part of a court-ordered program--the men who hit them.
The agency is sponsoring a conference on domestic violence at St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank on Friday.
Viele-Lyman has invited women from local shelters and outreach centers to attend the conference, which is open to the public. The daylong event will feature experts on the issue and a keynote address by former Los Angeles City Councilwoman Joy Picus.
Viele-Lyman said she hopes that the conference will help women recognize whether they are victims of violence.
A woman who attends might get an needed emotional boost and learn "that her strength and courage will move her away from this," she said.