Stop domestic violence

getprev1The release of footage from a video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his fiancée, now wife, in an elevator went viral last year, shining a national spotlight on a subject that too often remains behind closed doors.

The NFL has responded to incidents of domestic violence by players with, among other things, initiating the No More campaign, communicating the message, “Together we can end domestic violence and sexual assault.”

It’s a powerful message, but much more must be done to stop domestic violence and sexual assault. With knowledge, everyone can help.

Domestic violence and sexual assault happen all over the world in every culture, setting and relationship. What are the signs to look for of an abusive relationship? Would we know if it were happening to a friend, relative or neighbor in our own back yard? And if we did, what could we do about it?

The Barnard Club of Connecticut and Fairfield Public Library will sponsor a panel discussion and provide information and assistance to anyone who might know someone in need of help or who wants to learn more.

The panel will take place on Sunday, Jan. 18, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at Fairfield Public Library, 1080 Post Road, Fairfield, in the Rotary room. Snow date is Jan. 25.

Debra Greenwood

Debra Greenwood

Panelists include Debra Greenwood, president and CEO of the Center for Family Justice, attorney Nandita Ruchandani, with law offices in Fairfield and New York City, and Detective Kerry Dalling of the Fairfield Police Department. Barnard Club President Selena Kuo McCaul will facilitate. The program will include a question-and-answer session. Light refreshments will be served.

Federal and state laws provide protection for all survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse, regardless of the individual’s country of origin, citizenship or immigration status.

The Violence against Women Reauthorization Act provides protection for undocumented individuals who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. No person in the United States can be denied benefits to any program or

activity made available under this act based on national origin.

Debra Greenwood

Ms. Greenwood has more than 35 years of nonprofit management experience, including strategic planning, fund raising, community mobilization, leadership and program development. Serving as a CEO at various YMCAs in the region, she has led four successful capital campaigns resulting in the creation of a new YMCA, two renovations of different Ys in the region and most recently remodeling The Center for Women and Families, which is now Connecticut’s first Center for Family Justice.

The Center provides free, confidential trauma-informed services and coordinates care for victims and survivors of any age, race and gender affected by domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. It offers education and training to create social change to break the cycle of violence, build healthy relationships, stop bullying, and end teen dating violence. The Center serves Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford, and Trumbull. Its domestic abuse hotline, 203-384-9559, and sexual assault hotline, 203-333-2233, are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day.


Keri Dalling

Keri Dalling

Kerry Dalling

Detective Dalling has been a member of the Fairfield Police Department since 1997, having served four years as a patrol officer and 14 as a detective. Certified on a state and national level to teach domestic violence investigations to police, prosecutors and advocates, Detective Dalling is the Fairfield Police Department’s domestic and sexual violence liaison, responsible for investigating these types of crimes.

She is also a certified victim advocate and works closely with Connecticut’s first Family Justice Center in Bridgeport. Detective Dalling likes to emphasize the fact that as members of a community, there are steps people can take to help if they suspect a friend or family member is being victimized. They don’t have to feel that they don’t know what to do or are afraid to get involved.


Nandita Ruchandani

Nandita Ruchandani

Nandita Ruchandani

Nandita Ruchandani graduated from Barnard College in 1990, and earned a master’s degree from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, and a juris doctorate degree from the National Law Center, George Washington University. She was admitted to the Connecticut bar in 1994, the New York bar in 1995, and the Washington, D.C., bar in 1997, and was also admitted to the Federal District Court for the District of Connecticut.

Ms. Ruchandani practices many areas of the law, from international business to immigration, real estate, matrimonial, and personal injury, in her own firm, the Law Offices of Nandita Ruchandani, in Fairfield and New York City. The firm has defended clients in I-9 and Department of Labor audits in connection with H-1B compliance, performing these services while keeping in view U.S. immigration laws and regulations and their effect on clients and their goals.

For more information, call 203-482-3454 or email [email protected]

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