Discussion on domestic violence scheduled tonight

Tonight at 7 p.m. at the Penn State Altoona Downtown Conference Center, Blair County Commissioner Donna D. Gority, Reverend Paul Johnson and Family Services of Blair County are sponsoring a talk/performance about “The Impact of Domestic Violence” presented by Dora E. McQuaid.
The presentation is free to the public.
“Dora McQuaid calls herself a poet, performer, activist and teacher,” said Rev. Johnson. “Too often domestic violence is a silent factor in many lives, this performance will try to shed some light on this dark subject.”
Commissioner Gority, one of the founders behind Family Services of Blair County’s Domestic Abuse project helped personally to raise the funds to make this even possible.
“This is a very serious subject that needs all the attention it can get. Often domestic violence creates many victims besides the battered party. Children are often victims who don’t have a choice,” said Gority.
“Awareness is the first step in preventing domestic violence,” said Marlene Mock, domestic abuse project director at Family Services of Blair County. “Your first defense against domestic abuse is to pick up the phone and call our agency. We offer a 24-hour hotline at 1-800-500-2849. Your second priority is to get a protection from abuse order.
“We have full-time staff at the Blair County Court House, third floor, old building, who will help victims file for such an order. Our number at the court house is 693-0130.”
Family Services domestic abuse counselors will be available during the event for questions or consultation.
McQuaid breaks the silent barriers of domestic violence, by presenting her feelings and experiences as a domestic violence survivor. In November 2003, McQuaid was awarded the fifth annual Pennsylvania governor’s victim service pathfinder award for her activism and advocacy on behalf of victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
McQuaid will be available after the talk/performance to sign her books and CDs.