by Wendy Kagan
In our Hudson Valley, the victims of domestic violence have a place to go. The door is always open at Grace Smith House in Poughkeepsie, which opened in 1981 as a crisis shelter and has since expanded its range of services to include counseling, advocacy, education, community consciousness-raising, and public policy work.
Youth education is key, since abusive relationship patterns can take hold as early as the teen years. On Monday, March 10, the Grace Smith House is hosting its "Love Shouldn't Hurt Conference" for a select group of teens from Dutchess and Orange counties. The high school and college students will convene for talks and breakout groups, and will come away with greater awareness and a sense of empowerment.
While the teen conference is not open to the general public, Grace Smith House's 2014 Spring Brunch & Auction will welcome all. Tickets for the fundraiser, to be held on Sunday, April 6, at Christo's in Poughkeepsie, start at $65. To learn more, or to get involved as a volunteer, contact the Grace Smith House at 845-452-7155.
Instant help for domestic violence victims is available through GSH's 24-hour hotline: 845-471-3033.