LOGAN – The first Northern Utah Conference on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is coming to Utah State University’s Eccles Conference Center, June 27-28.

The theme is “A call for Collaborative Leadership.”

Emmalee Fishburn, a senior prevention specialist in USU’s Office of Equity, is one of the conference organizers.

“We hope to bring various folks from the valley together that focus on sexual misconduct issues, specifically sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking, in a space where they can actually collaborate and meet with each other,” Fishburn explains. “And what we know about this work is that it’s really easy for it to get filed amongst all of the various players who contribute to the process of preventing and addressing these issues.”

Keynote speaker to open the conference is Carrie Madden who will tell the story of her daughter Mackenzie, once a USU student, who was murdered by an ex-boyfriend in her apartment eight years ago.

“When we think about issues like sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking,” Fishburn adds, “sometimes it can be easy to paint this picture of ‘it’s just somebody out there in our community who has these experiences.’ So we really appreciate Carrie being willing to come in and share Mackenzie’s story as that kickoff for the conference.

“It’s a really important reminder that says, ‘hey, there are people who have these experiences in our community and we can continue to improve the work that we are doing to stop these kinds of experiences from taking place.’”

The conference was formed in a partnership between the USU President’s Office, Aggies Think Care Act and CAPSA, a local nonprofit serving survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Fishburn said the event is free and designed for anyone working to help survivors find hope and healing.

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