Council President Pro Tem Crystal Smitherman hosting Relationship Violence Awareness Seminar on October 21st

Press Release 

October 9, 2023 
On Saturday, October 21st, Birmingham City Council President Pro Tem Crystal Smitherman will be hosting, “Love Doesn’t Hurt: Relationship Violence Awareness Seminar” at the Boutwell Auditorium from 9 am to 12 pm.

The seminar will feature a variety of guest speakers and areas of expertise, including a self-defense session, a presentation from the Family Justice Center and more. The event is free and open to the public and attendees will be provided a continental breakfast, snacks, door prizes, giveaway opportunities and each attendee will receive a goodie bag.

“By discussing relationship violence openly, we can reduce the stigma associated with being a victim. This can make it easier for survivors to seek help without feeling judged or blamed,” Councilor Crystal Smitherman said. “It’s a goal of mine to foster more partnerships between the government, organizations, and individuals to help increase the amount of available resources to address domestic violence and better understand its scope and impact. We’re looking forward to hearing a lot of powerful and inspiring messages during this event.”

Here is a schedule of events and speakers for the event:

9:00 am — Opening Remarks from Councilor Crystal Smitherman

9:10 a.m. — Self-Defense Session by Kennan Walay (40 minutes)

9:50 a.m. — Presentation by Cleola Callahan of YWCA (40 minutes) Relationship Violence 101

10:30 a.m. — Speak Up & Speak Out Sessions (40 minutes) Speaker: Susann Montgomery-Clark, Megan’s Foundation

11:10 a.m. — Presentation by Meagan Lyman of One Place Metro Alabama Family Justice Center (40 minutes)

“In addition to our great line-up of speakers, I think the self-defense portion of this event can really help to save lives and empower people,” Councilor Smitherman said. “Learning self-defense techniques can boost a woman’s self-confidence. Knowing that she has the skills and knowledge to protect herself in potentially dangerous situations can make her feel more self-assured and capable.”

Some important topics of discussion will include:

  • How to recognize escalating unhealthy behavior in a relationship
  • How to help a friend or loved one
  • Impact of domestic violence on children and families
  • How to hold offenders accountable
  • Grants available to schools

When: Saturday, October 21st, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Where: Boutwell Auditorium (1930 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35203)

What: (Free Event) Love Doesn’t Hurt: Relationship Violence Awareness Seminar presented by Councilor Crystal Smitherman