Janine Latus, a nationally-known author, writer and commentator whose work can be seen in popular magazines and heard on public radio, will be the keynote speaker at the Alternatives to Domestic Violence Annual Professionals and Community Leaders' Luncheon at noon on Thursday, October 26 at the Mission Inn in Riverside.
The luncheon brings together a host of community leaders from the legal system, social services, business community and other concerned individuals to raise awareness about domestic violence and honor community leaders and professionals who are committed to ADV's mission.
Latus was asked to give this year's keynote address because of her recent work in bringing attention to the tragedy of domestic violence. Later this year, she will release her first book tentatively titled, If I am Missing or Dead, weaving the stories of women who stay in emotionally and physically abusive relationships with those who escape. She shares her own story of growing up with an abusive and controlling father and how she and her sister Amy both became involved with men who were abusive. Amy was killed by her abuser. An article about her and her sister's experiences in the soon-to-be-released book was featured in the October, 2005 issue of O Magazine.
The luncheon is always held in October to recognize National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and raise awareness about the impact of domestic violence in our homes and community, according to Teresa Rhyne, President of ADV's Board of Directors. The event is also a fund-raiser for Alternatives to Domestic Violence (ADV), a nonprofit agency that has been serving domestic violence victims and their families throughout Riverside County since 1979. ADV operates Casa de Paz, the only shelter for domestic violence victims and their children in western Riverside County. In addition, the agency provides a 24-hour crisisline, individual and group counseling, assistance with restraining orders, court accompaniment, referrals and information, community education and professionals training, anger management treatment and a newly-opened counseling center.
Honorees at previous luncheons have included: Denise Brown, sister to Nicole Brown-Simpson, Christopher Darden, a prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson trial, Casey Quinn, former San Diego City Attorney who helped create one of the first Family Justice Centers in the nation and James Curtis, a former Riverside prosecutor and award-winning journalist.
The public is invited to attend the luncheon, however, seating is limited. A donation of $100 per person is requested. To reserve a seat, please call ADV at (951) 320-1370.