Houston & Peach

FVSU to host conference on dating violence, sexual assault, stalking

A conference seeking to eliminate dating violence, sexual assault and stalking is being hosted later this month by Fort Valley State University.

The “Lipstick, Hugs and Kisses Conference” is from noon to 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26. The event is sponsored by the Fort Valley Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, an international not-for-profit, professional women of color organization. The conference is open to the public.

“The purpose of the Lipstick, Hugs and Kisses Conference is to engage and expand the conversation in the university community about issues such as dating violence, intimate partner violence, teen dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, particularly against women and girls,” event organizer Shirlyn Johnson Granville stated in a FVSU news release.

“Our goal is to help women to not become victims and to help those already suffering to rebuild their lives.” she said.

The event is expected to include a panel discussion on domestic violence, the release stated.

Among those scheduled to serve on the panel is Daphne Walker, president and chief executive officer of Partnership Against Domestic Violence, which is billed as the state’s largest nonprofit domestic violence organization. Walker, a Fort Valley native, is a former judge, private criminal defense attorney and senior district attorney in Fulton County’s Crimes Against Women and Children Unit.

Break-out sessions are expected to follow the panel session, Josephine Davis, president of the Fort Valley Chapter of The Links, said by telephone Friday.

Dr. Debra Wilson Jones of Warner Robins, a long-time dentist and retired U.S. Air Force officer, is expected to lead an HIV/AIDs session, Davis said. Wilson Jones has presented lectures across the country and has done an educational series on HIV/AIDS, the release stated.

She’s expected to talk about how community collaborations that emphasize education and testing can help to alter the number of young adults being infected, the release stated.

Also, representatives of Middle Georgia healthcare organizations are expected to be on hand to distribute literature, answer questions and conduct HIV/AIDS testing on site.

Jones said that her goal for the conference is raise the conscious level of students.

“What we really hope is to break this cycle of abuse,” Davis said.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.