Penn State Harrisburg to host event to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month

HARRISBURG, Pa. — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the Penn State Harrisburg School of Behavioral Sciences and Education will host a multi-speaker event to promote awareness of domestic violence, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 17. The event will take place in room C213 in the Olmsted Building on campus.

Maria Turkson, assistant professor of psychology and licensed psychologist at Penn State Harrisburg, will provide the keynote address, which will focus on a summary of domestic violence research and facilitate discussion through interaction and short videos.

Other speakers include Pennsylvania Chief Deputy District Attorney Jen Gettle, who won the Victim's Advocacy Award from the governor for her work prosecuting domestic violence offenders; Sergeant Dennis Morris, chief of Middletown Police; and David Zayas and Becca Zelner, advocates from the Harrisburg Victim Advocate program.

For her efforts to raise awareness on campus about the issues impacting women, Turkson received the the Kathryn Townes Women’s Award from Penn State Harrisburg in 2018. She teaches courses in gender psychology and domestic violence. In the Washington, D.C. area where she held a private practice, Turkson gained valuable expertise at a women’s center where she regularly assisted women and their families with negotiating the difficulties they may face as a result of gender socialization and victimization, including domestic violence.

Attendees are encouraged to wear something purple to symbolize domestic violence awareness as well as the unity that is required to make social change.

The event is free and open to the public. For questions or to RSVP, contact Turkson at [email protected].