Bill Mitchell will Speak at Lehigh University
PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Kristin Mitchell Foundation announced today that Bill Mitchell, KMF president, will be speaking at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the evening of February 21, 2017.
Before his speech he will conduct a one-hour workshop on dating violence with Dating Violence Support Advocates. He will also meet with Break The Silence Peer Educators for an hour and a half that day.
Mr. Mitchell will then be giving a speech entitled “When Dating Hurts” which tells the story of his daughter, Kristin’s, tragedy years ago. His presentation also takes listeners through other examples of ill-fated relationships that are from true stories he has heard from victims of dating abuse. “What I talk about is not from reading it in books, it’s from living this,” he noted.
An important facet of this speech is when Bill reviews the Warning Signs that signal an unhealthy dating relationship. The “red flags” have been gathered from professionals in the domestic violence field and from survivors. He will review ways to safely break away from a troubled relationship. This is helpful for an abused person – or any friend or family member who knows someone who is in difficulty.
Bill Mitchell feels that speeches are the strongest way to get the most critical aspects of dating violence in front of people. “In one hour we can make many basic points that explain the prevalence of this issue and we can discuss the means to bring safe resolutions for the ones being abused,” he said. “I am always adding and tuning my speeches so they contain the best of what I have learned.”
He believes that being there in person makes the difference. “My daughter, Kristin, was a real person, and I feel that the audience feels it since we are together in that room. This is not a video on a computer screen. I am living this even now and I want audience members to know this does happen. I want them to know it can happen to someone they care about since it happens to close to one in three women during their lifetimes. It’s a staggering statistic, and it’s probably going to touch all of our lives in some manner.”
The Kristin Mitchell Foundation has made nearly 70 presentations since the organization was founded nearly ten years ago. During that time, our message has saved many young adults from the serious consequences of dating violence. It is the sincere belief of the Mitchell family that had Kristin received this kind of information, she would most-likely be alive today.
President of Kristin Mitchell Foundation to speak next at Exelon
BERWYN, PA – On Dec. 10, 2015, as part of their Employee Giving Campaign, Exelon is providing real-life information about dating violence to its staff. Since many are unaware of the issue of dating abuse among teenagers and college-age students, they have invited the president of the Kristin Mitchell Foundation, Bill Mitchell, to come in and speak out on this critical issue. Exelon will be involving their employee group, NEW (Network of Exelon Women) in this event.
Mr. Mitchell will present a personal account of the effect of dating violence on his family. Ten years ago, Mitchell’s daughter, Kristin, was murdered by her boyfriend three weeks after graduating from Saint Joseph’s University. He will speak to attendees about the warning signs and dangerous consequences of intimate partner violence.
“The people of Exelon are taking the issue of dating violence to its associates,” said Mitchell, “The horrific reality of this kind of violence is something very few people know much about, which is strange since it is so prevalent. I commend Exelon for addressing this insidious issue. It is a subject that people figure will never enter their lives, but it is real. It can touch anyone’s life at any time. Believe me, I know.”
Bill Mitchell presenting on October 15, 2015 at Cabrini College in Wayne, PA.
Bill Mitchell has been speaking out about dating violence since his daughter was killed by her boyfriend on June 3, 2005. Since then he has given presentations at colleges, high schools, the National Press Club, and on Good Morning America.
Below is the list of venues in which Mr. Mitchell has taken this issue to the public. Bill is always open to the more opportunities to tell his daughter’s story because he has seen how it can save others’ lives.
Bill Mitchell’s speaking engagements 2005 – 2015:
- Kristin Mitchell Candlelight Vigil speeches – Saint Joseph’s University, November 2005
- Sentencing hearing – Montgomery County Courthouse, (PA) April 2006
- Baltimore Examiner interview – September 2006
- House of Ruth Annual Luncheon – M&T Bank, Ravens Stadium, May 2007
- Take Back the Night keynote speech – Saint Joseph’s University, April 2008
- Laurel House Annual Luncheon speech – Philadelphia, November 2008
- Take Back the Night keynote speech – Widener University, April 2009
- Annapolis Ways & Means Committee testimony (dating violence bill HB 845) – Annapolis, March 2009
- ABC’s Good Morning America interview – Washington, DC, June 2009
- National Press Club speech – Washington, DC, June 2009
- National Public Radio interview – Washington, DC, June 2009
- Liz Claiborne video interview – Washington, DC, June 2009
- NBC Telemundo interview – Washington, DC, June 2009
- National Foundation of Women’s Legislators Annual Conference video speech – September 2009
- Montgomery College speech – Montgomery, MD, November 2009
- “It’s Time To Talk Day” national radio broadcast Liz Claiborne – December 2009
- Annapolis Ways & Means Committee testimony (dating violence bill HB 911) – Annapolis, March 2010
- Take Back the Night keynote speech – Saint Joseph’s University, April 2010
- WBAL-TV Channel 11 Baltimore, MD – May 2010
- WBFF Fox45 Baltimore, May 2010
- WTOP Radio, May 2010
- Speech for Phi Beta Sigma, Capitol Hill 2010, Rayburn Building – Washington, DC, – September 2010
- House of Ruth, Press conference – October 7, 2010
- Howard County Domestic Violence “Take Back the Night” – October 26, 2010
- WJZ-TV Channel 13, Baltimore, MD – November 2010
- “It’s Time To Talk Day” national radio broadcast Liz Claiborne, NYC – December 2010
- University of Maryland, Baltimore County, MD (with students) – March 2011
- University of Maryland, Shady Grove, MD – April 2011
- Montgomery College, Rockville, MD – April 2011
- University of Maryland, Baltimore County, MD (with police) – April 2011
- Cabrini College DV Symposium keynote speaker, Phila, PA – October 2011
- University of Maryland, Baltimore County, MD – October 2011
- Notre Dame Preparatory School, Towson, MD – March 2012
- Mount de Sales Academy, Baltimore, MD – March 2012
- Immaculata University, Phila., PA “Take Back the Night” keynote – April 2012
- University of Maryland, Baltimore County, MD (police training) – May 2012
- St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School, Alexandria, VA, – February 2013
- St. Mary’s High School, Annapolis, MD – February 2013
- House of Ruth, Breakfast speech for parents – May 2013
- Notre Dame of MD Univ., Balto., MD Take Back the Night keynote – April 2014
- “In Plain Sight” 8th Annual Domestic Violence Conference – September 2014
- House of Ruth “Storytelling Group” – January 2015
- Saint Joseph’s University/Enactus speech at school assembly – February 2015
- Saint Mary’s County, MD High Schools – April 2015
- Take Back the Night keynote speech – Saint Joseph’s University, April 2015
- Cabrini College DV Symposium keynote speaker, Phila, PA – October 2015
- Exelon (Network of Exelon Women), Berwyn, PA – December 2015
June 3, 2015. The 10th Anniversary of Kristin Mitchell’s Tragedy.
ELLICOTT CITY, MD–On June 3rd, we will reflect on a brilliant life cut short by dating violence in all of its horrible fury. Ten years ago, without warning, Kristin Mitchell was brutally taken away at the hands of her ex-boyfriend in Conshohocken, PA. Today, friends and family are still moved to tears at the thought of what happened that night.
In the days that followed, the pieces of the story pointed to a death that most likely could have been averted had Kristin and her friends known the classic red flags associated with dating violence. There is no going back.
From those harrowing days in 2005, Kristin’s legacy has strongly emerged. The foundation in Kristin’s name has taken advantage of every avenue available to get awareness and education out to young adults about the warning signs of potential unhealthy relationships. Although it is not possible to count lives saved, or disasters prevented, the foundation has received word from a significant number of young women that Kristin’s story has led them to safety.
On the anniversary of this pivitol event, Bill Mitchell, president of the Kristin Mitchell Foundation, had these words to offer: “Most of the time when I think about Kristin, I go back through hundreds of wonderful memories from her birth and the early days of learning to walk and speak. I also think about the pre-school, elementary and high school days when you could see this wonderful and talented person emerging. We had no clue that the end of college would also signal the end of everything.”
Only three weeks after Kristin’s graduation from Philadelphia’s Saint Joseph’s University, came Friday, June 3, 2005. At that moment she had a position lined up with General Mills in Dresher, PA, and her life was set for take off. Then it all ended.
“We thank all of those who came to our side and made the nightmare a little easier,” said Mr. Mitchell. “We know now that time does not heal all wounds. We know that some things don’t go away or get better. But we also know that helping others is the best way to help yourself. So with the help of our great board members, friends and family, we have set a course of applying what we know and trying to keep other families out of our kind of situation.”
Kristin Mitchell Foundation board members, led by Kristin’s Krusade race director, Patty Mark, will honor Kristin’s memory by working with Saint Joseph’s University to have a tree dedicated to Kristin on campus. The Mitchell family feels grateful to hear of this wonderful tribute to their daughter.
This Sunday, Kristin will be remembered during the noon Mass at the Shrine of St. Anthony Monastery near her home in Ellicott City, MD.
Kristin Mitchell and her beloved cat, Gatsby.
KMF Speaks Out To Benefit Saint Mary’s County, Maryland High School Females
LEONARDTOWN, MD– On April 9, 2015, a dating violence prevention presentation for female students grades 11 and 12 was accomplished by St. Mary’s County Commission for Women. The keynote speaker was Bill Mitchell, president of the Kristin mitchell Foundation. Mr. Mitchell spoke about dating violence awareness and prevention. He is the father of Kristin Mitchell, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend near Philadelphia in June 2005.
The key points of Mr. Mitchell’s speech were about what happened to his daughter and the reasons why this might not have happened had she been better informed about potential dangers. Students had the opportunity to hear Mr. Mitchell speak about the critical warning signs that could have saved his daughter.
He gave examples of young women who were in harm’s way but were able to either get help or break free. He said, “Venues like this one conducted by St. Mary’s County Public Schools save lives. Someone in the audience is aware of dating violence around her (or him) and just needs to know enough to do something that will help. This event will be the catalyst that changes a life. Probably many lives. I promise you that.”
Ms. Marta Kelsey, the President of the St Mary’s County Commission for Women, states, “The St. Mary’s County Commission for Women is committed to taking a visible and vocal stand against relationship violence. We want our young people armed with information that will help them recognize the signs of unhealthy relationships. This project is a reflection of our community coming together to protect our young citizens. The St. Mary’s County Commission for Women is pleased to be a part of this important effort with St. Mary’s Public Schools.”
The Kristin Mitchell Foundation spoke out about dating violence in St. Mary’s County in Maryland, and later in the month, at Saint Joseph’s University’s Take Back the Night event on April 14 in Philadelphia. Mr. Mitchell, said of these speeches, “These speeches are a powerful way to get the message out about this insidious dating violence issue. I am honored to be asked to do these, and I take it as a responsibility to do these the best I am able.”
What Happened: It Can Happen to Anyone
Only three weeks after graduating from Saint Joseph’s University, Kristin Mitchell became a victim of dating violence. On June 3, 2005, she was murdered by her boyfriend in her apartment in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. From interviews with people who knew her and were with her that day, she was in the throes of breaking up with him when the worst happened.
During the ensuing months the Mitchell family was in and out of court at every opportunity. They participated as much as they were able in the legal process. Six months after her death, a trial was scheduled to begin at the Montgomery Court House in Norristown, Pennsylvania. The defense attorney was granted a continuance and the trial was put off indefinitely. The year 2005 ended with no movement, only a very sad holiday season without Kristin.
The year 2006 brought nothing new in the case until March when the judge decided upon a new trial date of June 5, 2006. At that time the murderer of Kristin Mitchell decided to go for a plea of third-degree murder and a thirty year term rather than risk the possibility of a first-degree murder decision in a jury trial and, therefore, life in prison. In Pennsylvania, a life term comes with no possibility of parole.
On April 20, 2006, the killer accepted a third-degree murder conviction and was sent to a Pennsylvania state prison. Although his sentence is thirty years, he would be allowed to appear before parole board hearings as early as at the fifteen-year mark (the year 2020), and could potentially be set free at that time.
The Mitchells have had no contact with the murderer or his family with the exception of speaking to him in court from the witness stand at his plea and sentencing hearing. They expressed great sorrow for what he had done when he “took away the innocence,” as Michele Mitchell put it. David Mitchell suggested his sister’s killer try to make something of himself even with his present state in life. Bill Mitchell said he had not forgiven this man for what he did, but was hoping to someday get there.
Our Daughter, Kristin Mitchell
Weeks after the euphoria of celebrating Kristin’s graduation, we received news that no parent should have to suffer. From that day we’ve been on a path we feel we need to follow. Our guiding lights are prayer and the help and encouragement we receive from family and friends. It’s always difficult to relive what happened, but when we’re uncertain, we ask ourselves, “What would Kristin want us to do?” That question has always led to useful answers.
Kristin was a great person and a great friend. If someone needed help, she’d be there so they received what they needed and were okay. She loved to write poetry. She was introspective and questioned the meaning of life.
She had an avid interest in animals, with a special emphasis on cats and horses. She was a trained equestrian rider and wanted to get back into riding in the summer of 2005. She was also an accomplished flute player.
In college, Kristin pursued a business degree in food marketing and was hired for a position with a nationally known company. She would have started as a sales associate in July 2005.
What made her special? She cared so much about people. She would have made a great psychologist. For Kristin, and others who could suffer as she did, we give our time and talents because we feel it’s what Kristin would want us to do.
What We’re Doing Today
Known for her sweet smile and wonderful outlook on life, Kristin didn’t know warning signs that could have saved her life. The controlling behavior she consistently experienced were classic signs of potential trouble. What happened to Kristin needed to be known by others as a way to put an end to this pervasive problem.
Around the time of the first anniversary of Kristin’s death, two of her friends decided to channel their grief in a positive way. They created an event that would keep Kristin’s memory alive, celebrate her 21 years of life, and spread the word about the perils of an unhealthy dating relationship.
Inspired by a eulogy given by a Saint Joseph’s priest at Kristin’s memorial service, the event became known as “Kristin’s Krusade.” It’s a 5K run/walk that has been held annually on the campus of Saint Joseph’s University since September 2006.
The aim of Kristin’s Krusade is to bring dating violence awareness to the place Kristin once called “home” for four years.
After our inaugural event, we recognized the prevalence of dating violence, and formed the Kristin Mitchell Foundation. Our mission is to support educational efforts that raise awareness among college students about the potential dangers of unhealthy dating relationships. Besides our run/walk and all of the attention it rightfully gathers, we also have participated in fundraisers that bring awareness of dating violence to the surrounding communities.
Members of our board have told Kristin’s story on university campuses and in such venues as the National Press Club in Washington, DC. We have appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” telling what we know, and walked the halls of Congress to gain support and influence national dating violence education efforts. In Maryland, we testified before the House Ways and Means Committee to influence a vote for a teen dating violence bill. Two months later, Maryland unanimously passed a law that allows dating violence education in middle- and high schools for the first time.