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Frank Whitney, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Anna Mills S. Wagoner, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, and Robert J. Conrad, Jr., United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crimes and the North Carolina Governor's Crime Commission, announce the first North Carolina tri-district, statewide domestic violence training conference beginning Tuesday, October 7, 2003 at the Downtown Greensboro Marriott Hotel.

In 1994, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act. This Act and its 1996 and 2000 additions recognize that domestic violence is a national crime and that federal laws can help an overburdened state and local criminal justice system. In 1994 and 1996 Congress also passed changes to the Gun Control Act, making it a federal crime in certain situations for domestic abusers to possess guns.

While the majority of domestic violence cases will continue to be handled by state and local authorities, in some cases, the federal laws and the benefits gained from applying these laws may be the most appropriate course of action.

The two-day conference going on now in Greensboro was designed to provide practical information for conference participants on available state and federal domestic violence laws, the penalties they carry, and the rights of the victims.

Conference participants include persons involved in every facet of domestic violence prevention, detection, and prosecution, including victims, law enforcement officers, state and federal prosecutors, judges, and service providers. Participants are focusing their attention on domestic violence and firearms laws and how they can be used to assist in the investigation and prosecution of crimes of domestic violence.

Some of the topics being addressed this week in Greensboro are:

  • The North Carolina Amber Alert Program
  • Innovative Strategies in Domestic Violence
  • Project Safe Neighborhoods and Violence Against Women Act
  • Domestic Violence and North Carolina State Laws
  • Rethinking Empowerment Goals
  • Cultural Overview of Domestic Violence and
  • Victim-Witness Coordinators' Network

The conference will continue through Wednesday, October 8, 2003. There is a media room on conference site. Members of the press are invited to come and cover the conference, interview the speakers and hosts, and be among the first to deliver the message to North Carolinians about how the state and federal laws can work for them and their loved ones.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney's web page at within 48 hours of release.

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