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Valleywide Focus

Women's Shelter Sets Up Speakers Bureau

March 19, 1994|REBECCA BRYANT

In hope that educating the public about family violence will reduce the number of women and children battered and abused, a women's shelter has created a speakers bureau.

Haven Hills, the only shelter for battered women and their children in the San Fernando Valley, will provide speakers at no cost to any group requesting them.

"We're just trying to get at the issue any way we can," said Betty Fisher, director of the West Valley shelter. "It's helping people in the community know that they're going to run into this problem in the workplace, in the neighborhood, in their family. To let them know what they're seeing and what can be done about it."

Hearing about the different facets of abuse can sometimes help a woman recognize that she, too, is in an unhealthy relationship, Fisher said.

"One of the things we run into with women in abusive relationships is that they don't self-identify. They define abuse very narrowly," Fisher said. "If you end up in the hospital with broken bones it's easy to identify yourself as in an abusive relationship. There are a lot more subtle forms."

Haven Hills, a private, nonprofit organization, has operated out of the San Fernando Valley since 1977. The center provides shelter, counseling and job referrals to the women and children who seek help. The location of the shelter is kept a secret to protect the women and children.

For more information about the Haven Hills Speakers Bureau or to request a speaker, contact the center at (818) 887-7481.

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