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CALGARY SUN - Sat, May 8, 2004

Talks aim at curbing violence

By PABLO FERNANDEZ,

pablo.fernandez@calgarysun.com

Victims of violence joined with experts in Calgary yesterday to map out ways to curb domestic abuse and bullying in Alberta. But not all those looking into the issue were convinced the provincial roundtable would fully address those concerns.

Violence against men and seniors is not being given an equal share of discussion by the roundtable, said Men's Education Support Association spokesman Gus Sleiman.

"The roundtable, we fear, will have a pre-determined outcome," he said.

The Counter-Roundtable was held yesterday at Mamma's Restaurant, 320, 16 Ave. N.W., by groups who feel they weren't given a fair opportunity to express their concerns.

Elected officials, health care and social workers and victims of bullying and family violence took part in the Alberta Bullying Roundtable on Family violence in the Roundup Centre.

The gathering came on the heels of 13 regional workshops, 33 focus groups and a questionnaire to formulate strategies to deal with violence and to break the cycle of abuse.

"We all need to give this issue our immediate attention -- violence and fear have intruded into the lives of our children, families and communities for far too long," said roundtable honourary chair Colleen Klein.

Copyright 2004, Sun Media Corporation / Netgraphe inc. All rights reserved.