The month of October is overflowing with activities that student groups across the country are taking action on. For many of us, October signifies the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness month and gearing up to put on events that really highlight the impact it has in our communities. The first step in fighting this vicious violence is being informed and getting educated on the issue. According to YWCA, “one in three women has been the victim of domestic violence.” Not only is this statistic saddening but also learning that “twenty-five percent of college women have been raped” is an issue we cannot blindly stand by!
Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. It is everyone’s problem and has consequences for more than just the people involved.
To take action for Domestic Violence Awareness month, many activists partner with local organizations and shelters that support survivors through fundraisers, host clothing and cell phone drives, hold workshops about consent and the Violence Against Women Act, chalk the campus with statistics about domestic violence, and volunteer endless hours. It can also be as simple as holding a screening that talks about the issue with a thought-provoking discussion afterward because as cliche as it sounds, knowledge really is power. Wherever you are, speak up against violence in your community by becoming a hotline volunteer, attend a local rally, or inform yourself and the rest of your school about your campus sexual assault policy.
Use this month to make a difference in your campus community because it takes just one person to send the message that violence is not acceptable. It’s time to take back our community and end this cycle of violence once and for all.
photo courtesy of flickr.com/zappowbang