For immediate release:
Oct. 7, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS - Four Northwest Indiana legislators will host a Women’s Symposium to examine important legislative issues on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 6-8 p.m. (CST) at IBEW Local 697, Suite 200, 7200 Mississippi St., in Merrillville [get a map].
State Reps. Linda Lawson (D-Hammond), Mara Candelaria Reardon (D-Munster), Shelli VanDenburgh (D-Crown Point), and State Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage) will participate, along with authorities in various fields, in a legislative review of the issues of pay inequity, domestic violence and sexual assault.
“We have an impressive panel of experts on each of those topics,” said Lawson, who will be the symposium’s moderator. “Dr. Ruth Needleman and Sen. Tallian will be exploring the issue of pay inequity. There is a significant disparity in the wage rate between men and women who do the same work. Dr. Needleman is a retired Labor Studies professor, who taught at Indiana University Northwest and is nationally renowned for her expertise. Joining her will be Sen. Karen Tallian, who is a veteran lawmaker with many years of legislative experience in fighting for civil rights, equal rights, and the rights of working families.
“On the issue of domestic violence, we will feature a remarkable woman named Ann DeLaney,” continued Lawson. “For several years, she ran one of the most successful domestic abuse shelters in Indiana. Each year, the Julian Center helps more than 6,500 individuals, who have been victimized by domestic violence, sexual assault and other life crises. Rep. Shelli VanDenburgh will join Ann as a panelist. Shelli has become a ‘go-to’ resource in the General Assembly on the issue of domestic abuse.
“Our third segment in the symposium will concentrate on the widespread, disturbing problem of sexual assault,” said Lawson. “Thousands of Hoosier women are assaulted each year. Many, however, never report these violent crimes because of the stigma surrounding sexual assault.
“Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon has been a legislative champion for victims of sexual assault,” added Lawson. “She will be joined by Lisa Wein, the executive director of Haven House in Hammond. Lisa has done a remarkable job of helping thousands of domestic abuse and sexual assault victims at the emergency shelter. Haven House serves women and their children from several communities in Lake County.
“I hope citizens in Northwest Indiana, both women and men, will take the opportunity to attend the symposium to learn about these issues,” said Lawson. “After the three panel sessions, we will invite the attendees to participate in a discussion to determine new and better ways to combat these significant problems women face in our state.”