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Educators get lessons from Denise Brown

Domestic violence advocate visits hospital

Denise Brown, second to right, sister of the late Nicole Brown-Simpson and a leading advocate against domestic abuse, visited Harrington Hospital for educational talks on Tuesday, Oct. 19. She is pictured her with, from left, Harrington Auxiliary President Helen Santilli, Auxiliary Vice President, Carol Foster, New Hope coordinator Samantha King, clinical nurse educators Paulette Choquette, Alison Page, Erin Miffitt, Tami Reinhart, Vice President of Nursing Thomas Lijeck, Clinical Educator Susan Waters and Chief Operating Officer Douglas Crapser. Rich Hosford. (click for larger version)
October 24, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Harrington Hospital is working to educate its employees on recognizing the signs of domestic violence, and recently had a leading figure in the fight come by for a visit.

While she was visiting the area last week to educate on, and raise awareness of, domestic violence, Denise Brown, sister of the late Nicole Brown-Simpson, stopped at the hospital to hold informational talks with hospital personnel.

Since her sister was found murdered along with friend Ronald Goldman on June 12, 1994, Brown has dedicated her life to fighting domestic violence. Nicole was the ex-wife of former NFL football player O.J. Simpson, who famously went on trial and was found not guilty of the crime. However, Brown said Nicole's diaries, found after her death, detailed a history of domestic abuse by Simpson and Brown believes he was the murderer despite the jury's decision.

Since the murder, Brown has traveled the world speaking at universities, shelters, prisons and churches and to community groups about the issue of domestic violence. She has helped raise funds for local shelters and groups working to end domestic violence. She also lobbied congress to pass the 1994 Violence Against Women Act that provided funds for the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, increased pre-trial detention of the accused and imposed automatic and mandatory restitution of convicted people.

Brown arrived at Harrington at noon Tuesday, Oct. 19 to take a tour of the emergency room, meet with department heads and talk with patients. Brown then gave a talk to nurse educators in the Harrington Education Department on recognizing the signs of domestic violence and spoke on how to reach out to victims to get them the help they need.

"This topic has never been discussed in a formal educational program at Harrington Hospital," said Susan Waters, Ed.D., RN, in the hospital's Staff Development Education Department. "Every nurse asks patients if they feel safe at home, but the total picture and the cycle of violence was never totally discussed from my understanding."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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