POMEROY — Meigs County Prosecutor James K. Stanley and Crime Victim Service Advocates Theda Petrasko, Shelley Kemper and Alexis Schwab attended the Ohio Attorney General’s Two Days in May conference on victim assistance earlier this week in Columbus.
The theme for the annual conference was “A Call to Action” with a variety of workshops on answering the call to serve the needs of victims of crime.
Kemper said that some of the workshops she and others attended during the conference were on assisting victims of domestic violence, working on civil protection orders, grant funding, and social media.
During one of the presentations on social media, sexting and other dangers for today’s teens, Kemper explained that a group of local high school students were on the panel that explained to the group some of the apps and specific language which is used by teens that others, such as parents, may overlook or not know about. Other sessions dealt with combating elder financial exploitation, the impact of the opiod epidemic on children, supervised visitation as a victim service, coordinated responses at crime scenes, and the reality of violence against women.
Petrasko, who is the director of the Meigs County Victim Service program, said the conference allows for the advocates and prosecutors to learn new ideas which can easily be implemented in local programs, as well as networking with other advocates from small counties to see what is working in similar areas or what can be done differently.
Some of the takeaways from the programs, added Kemper, were new ways to help with safety planning for domestic violence victims and better ways to keep victims informed throughout the criminal justice process.
Kemper and Petrasko explained that each year they come away with new information from the conference, even after having attended in the past. This was the first year attending for Stanley and Schwab.