Abuse conference offers help to churches

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – In light of the Penn State child abuse scandal and other high-profile cases closer to home, the Mississippi Department of Human Services is offering a conference to help clergy members identify and help victims of child abuse, neglect and domestic violence.
“We’re looking at signs and indicators of abuse and some behaviors of abuse, and what they can do to help those who are victims of child abuse and neglect and domestic violence,” said Shelia Nabors with the Department of Human Services.
The Journey to Hope Conference is a collaborative effort from the DHS Division of Family and Child Services, S.A.F.E. Inc., the Family Resource Center and the Mississippi Chapter of Celebrate Recovery. The free conference is aimed at pastors, associate pastors, youth leaders, Sunday School teachers and all other faith-based advocates.
“We’re going to give the attendees information on making sure that people are safe,” she said. “That’s why we named it the ‘Journey of Hope.’ The people who have gone through any type of abuse lose hope, and we’re all on a journey. We’re all trying to get the word out there.”
The same session will take place twice, one at 9 a.m. and the other at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. If church members can’t make it to either session, Nabors said the Department of Human Services can bring the session to churches on their own schedules.
Each session is limited to 75, so early registration is encouraged.
“This is an effort to help us break the cycle of abuse and domestic violence,” Nabors said.

Conference Info
When: 9 a.m. to noon, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Department of Human Services Building, 220 S. Industrial Road, Tupelo

Cost: Free.

Information and to reserve a seat: (662)
841-9737 or factms.com

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