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.
"I think a battered woman would get a sense that there are people out there who care about her, who are committed to educating themselves as to how to stop this cycle." she said. "There are many like her."