YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Youngstown leaders want to help curb female-related violence in the city. They have formed a new Women of Worth Program to help.
The group is not only concerned for victims but for those committing crimes or instigating them.
Chief Robin Lees cited the death of Shawn Cortez this summer as an example.
“It was very clear in the video evidence we had that the women were there and they were certainly involved in and encouraging the behavior,” Lees said.
Cortez was shot and killed during a fight on the street where a cell phone video shows images of the crowd encouraging the confrontation. Several in the crowd were women.
That’s why city leaders introduced the new program targeting females.
Youngstown Mayor John McNally said the program is being paid for through police department and CIRV (Community Initiative to End Violence) funds.
“We certainly hope to expand in the future,” McNally said.
The Woman of Worth Conference will be held Nov. 14-15. The group has already selected 15 women who they deem high risk to come together for the weekend.
The program also includes monthly events to educate and strengthen the women. They will also focus on life-building skills and learn how to prevent violence.
“They need to know what they do affects their children. We are affecting generations to come,” said Reverend Dr. M. Rosie Taylor, Home for Good.
At the completion of the program, a graduation ceremony will be held.