News Release

Friday, September 21, 2012

Contact: Greg Raver-Lampman, 668-7554

First CHKD Child Abuse Conference draws police, prosecutors, child advocates

CHESAPEAKE, VA -- More than 230 professionals from law enforcement, social services, child protective services and the court system convened at the Chesapeake Conference Center for the inaugural CHKD Child Abuse Conference.

Norfolk Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Judge Lauri Hogge, a former executive director of the CHKD child abuse program, opened the conference, which was dedicated to exploring the legal, medical and psychological issues of child abuse and neglect.

Robert Giles, senior attorney with the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse, discussed myths about child abusers and issues surrounding the testimony of victims. Newport News Police Department detective Dinah Balthis and FBI special agent Paula Barrows of the Innocent Images Task Force discussed the use of the Internet by child abusers.

Child-trafficking survivor Holly Smith talked about her ordeal and the importance of taking child abuse and child trafficking seriously.

CHKD presenters who led breakout sessions included Dr. Suzanne Starling, medical director of the child abuse program; Carole Campbell Swiecicki, PhD, the program’s mental health director; and child abuse pediatrician Dr. Norrell Atkinson.