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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, April 23, 2010

WCC to sponsor domestic violence panel

Alvin Hall
Reader Submitted

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Domestic violence often leaves victims feeling cornered and alone.

Stefan Fischer

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Domestic violence is an issue that affects everyone: perpetrator, victim, witness. Hawai'i's domestic violence problems have been increasing, yet funds to support awareness and counseling have declined, says WCC counselor Winston Kong.

Kong and KuPono, WCC's Hawaiian Club, are sponsoring an event "Aloha ke kahi e ke kahi" (Love One Another) Tuesday, April 27 at the lunch hour in Hale 'Ākoakoa 105 to provide education on this controversial subject. 

At 11:15 a.m. a short video created by the women inmates of the Women's Community Correctional Center(WCCC) will be shown. Then a panel discussion will focus on case studies and possible solutions to domestic violence issues.

Among the panelists will be WCCC inmates, counselors from the Ohia and the Windward Spouse Abuse shelters, a WCC graduate who is a clinical psychologist and ETC/WCC staff members April Sandobal and Jayne Bopp.

"We want to ask the tough questions and face the tough issues head on. Domestic violence must stop now, and we want to stop it at this level before it gets worse," Kong said.

This year's panel discussion will explore the impact of domestic abuse on keiki (children) and kupuna (the elderly), two parts of the family unit who are least able to defend themselves. 

"This appears to be another sign of the meltdown of the traditional family structure," Kong said. "Drugs and unemployment are a big part of the picture, where frustration and aggression spill over to other family members."

Another aim of initiative is to create awareness for the Aha Kane, a conference set for June 18 20 at WCC to educate the Native Hawaiian male on his role in the 'ohana (family) and society at large. 

It appears that Polynesian male perpetrators are being highlighted in news reports lately, Kong said, but domestic violence is so insidious that perpetrators can be both male and female from any ethnic group.

"College is a place where relationships often begin," he said. "I strongly believe that if each person at WCC would learn and appreciate their kuleana (responsibilities) as they do their studies or jobs, then we've done a lot to increase the health and welfare of our Windward coast."