OREM, Utah — Domestic violence, violence prevention, the increase in pandemic-related domestic violence, and possible solutions to intimate partner violence will be the focus of UVU’s virtual Conference on Domestic Violence on April 2, 2021,

from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.  The reported rise in calls to domestic violence hotlines since the pandemic began have made the vital education presented by domestic violence experts at this conference more important than ever before.

“The statistics for domestic violence in Utah are high,” said Bobbi Kassel, department chair for the Criminal Justice Department at UVU. “One in three women and one in four men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. If an individual is informed of the signs of domestic violence, they may be to recognize the abuse early on in their relationship and potentially avoid long-term abusive relationships.”

This one-of-a-kind UVU conference will also provide information on how to recognize when abusive behaviors become dangerous, and proven ways to get help to those who need it — even in this challenging environment.

“We each need to do our part to be informed about the signs of domestic violence so when we see it happening to our family, friends, and neighbors, we can intervene and say something about it,” said Kassel. “It is equally important to educate ourselves about the resources that are available to people in abusive relationships. Ultimately, we cannot make decisions for anyone else, but we can listen and offer support. It’s easier for people to leave an abusive relationship when there’s a community ready for care for them.”

The keynote speaker for the 2021 conference, New York Times best-selling author of Crazy Love, Leslie Morgan Steiner, knows how important support networks are when leaving abusive relationships. Steiner will share her experience in a violent relationship, how she first denied and then eventually recognized herself as a victim of domestic violence, and how she was able to escape and overcome her life-threatening situation to live a life free from violence.

Steiner will be joined by plenary speaker Ali Crandall, Ph.D., MPH. Crandall is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health at Brigham Young University. Her research focuses on the role of families in public health and the effects of family experiences during childhood on adult mental and cognitive health.

In addition to the keynote and plenary speakers, the virtual conference will feature a variety of concurrent sessions that address topics such as the risks of stalking, preventing abuse, working with 2S and LGBTQIA+ survivors, legal perspectives on domestic violence, and more.

“Abuse thrives in secrecy,” said Kassel. “The only way we will ever be able to combat domestic violence, or any abuse, is through communication.  If you are being abused, tell someone. There are people willing to help you. If you know someone that is being abused, learn about the resources that are available, talk with them, listen and offer support.”

The Conference on Domestic Violence will be Friday, April 2, 2021, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Attendees can earn up to 13 NASW-endorsed CEUs toward re-licensure. Registration is $65, includes CEUs and access to all conference materials, including session recordings and will remain open until April 1, 2021. Participants who register before April 1 will be able to access all of the conference content until April 16, 2021.

For more information, please visit https://www.uvu.edu/chss/end_violence/


About Utah Valley

Utah Valley University is the largest public university in the state of Utah, with more than 40,000 students. The university boasts a dual-mission model that combines the rigor and richness of a first-rate teaching university with the openness and vocational programs of a community college. UVU’s unique model, which focuses on student success, engaged learning, rigorous academic programs, and faculty-mentored research, is transforming higher education by making it more affordable and accessible to students of all backgrounds. For more information, visit uvu.edu or follow @utah.valley.university on Instagram or Facebook.