Two-day conference offers training, domestic violence awareness

Two South Dakota-based organizations are partnering to host a conference addressing domestic violence Oct. 4 and 5.

The conference, the Domestic Violence Institute, is a two-day conference with speakers and sessions focusing on trauma, caregiving, legal assistance, rights of the victim, survivor story and other topics.

This conference is put together by the Brookings Domestic Abuse Shelter and the South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault.

The event occurs during Sexual Assault Awareness week at South Dakota State University, which is being put on by multiple campus organizations.

The goal of the conference is to “change social norms” regarding domestic violence and sexual assault, said Krista Heeren-Graber, executive director for the South Dakota Network for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

“We’re really open to have students to come at anytime and make that work so they can attend any sessions,” Heeren-Graber said.

The cost to attend the conference is $25. This price includes meals and snacks provided during the events and break out sessions.

Heeren-Graber advised students to speak out against sexual assault and domestic violence.

“We’ve been having these conversations for a long time and ultimately we end up blaming the victim,” Heeren-Graber said, “and we’re not going to tolerate this anymore.”