Women’s Center and End Violence Center host events for Domestic Violence Awareness Month


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Katie Lowery, Contributor

Throughout the month of October, the Cal U Women’s Center and End Violence Center are hosting several events to spread awareness about domestic abuse.

October is recognized as Domestic Abuse Awareness Month and Cal is using this time to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the resources available on campus for victims.

On each Thursday of October, the End Violence Center is encouraging students to wear purple to promote healthy relationships and awareness of domestic violence, according to the Women’s Center.

If students post a photo of themselves wearing purple to the #CalUPurpleThursday and tag @CalUWomensCenter, they will be entered to win a $15 shop dollar gift certificate, along with other prizes, said the Women’s Center. There will also be a “Clothes Line Project” hosted by the Women’s Center.

Gamma Sigma Sigma, a Cal U sorority, is helping raise awareness by hosting a collection for children of women who are fleeing domestic violence situations.

Megan Love, the Service Vice President for Gamma Sigma Sigma, said this project is part of a philanthropy effort for the sorority.

“The goal of the project is to gain awareness for domestic violence as well as to take these donations and give them to those in need,” said Love.

“The goal of the project is to gain awareness for domestic violence as well as to take these donations and give them to those in need,” said Love.

They will be accepting teddy bears, blankets, books, backpacks, and monetary donations, according to a campus announcement. Donations will be collected each Thursday of October in the Natali Student Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Emily Sweitzer, a professor of social deviance at Cal U, said anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse. “It can happen to anyone. Choosing to behave violently is completely on the offender,” said Sweitzer.

Skylar Ferens, a 20-year-old Cal U sophomore, said she thinks domestic violence is common among college students. “I know people personally who have been victims of abuse. I think it happens a lot to people my age. You always see it in the news,” Ferens said.

“About 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million men and women. One in four women and one in nine men experience severe intimate partner violence,” said Sweitzer.

There are many resources on campus for students who are victims of violence, such as the End Violence Center, the Women’s Center, counseling center, the public safety office, and even religious affiliates, said Sweitzer.

Ferens said she was unaware of campus resources.

“They should hold an educational fair in October that focuses on domestic abuse. I had no idea we had resources on campus for stuff like this, and I think it is important that they share the news about it,” said Ferens.

Another Cal U student, Breannah Bogus, said Cal U should do more to educate students about domestic violence.

“I think it is important for Cal to teach student the warning signs of domestic violence and how to identify it. It should be taught more in freshman seminar classes or something,” Bogus said.

Sweitzer said a few warning signs include bruises, extreme self-doubt, anxiety, apologizing for unimportant things, and the inability to focus. Sweitzer also said the best way to identify abuse is to be mindful, listen closely, and ask people if they are okay.

“If someone you know appears to need help, refer them to the counseling center or a domestic violence hotline,” said Sweitzer.