Time to Bring Awareness to Domestic Abuse

Photo Credit: Courtesy Graphic

Sara Molina – News Writer

In 2019’s Annual Security Report, Benedictine reported multiple sexual assaults, including rape and forcible fondling over the last few years and another series of reports against the Violence Against Women Act, VAWA.

Domestic Abuse Awareness Month is in October.  This is a month dedicated to the victims and survivors of Domestic Abuse, and a reminder to all that we can help put an end to domestic violence and it starts in our community.  

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience physical violence by a significant other.  In the US alone, an average of 20 people are physically abused every minute.

However, domestic abuse is not limited to physical violence. Bernadette Ramsden is head of Promoting Empowerment and Community Engagement, PEACE, and coordinator of VAWA on campus.  Her team of peer educators are involved with educating Benedictine on domestic violence. Ramsden states, “Domestic Violence can include physical, verbal, emotional, financial, or sexual abuse. We often recognize physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, or using a weapon. Examples of emotional abuse include manipulating their partner or isolating them from family and friends. More examples can be found in the College Power and Control Wheel.”

Photo Credit: Haven Project Center for Health and Well-Being

Here are three ways that, as a community, you can do to bring more awareness on campus:

  • Check-in on friends, see if their safe and how you can help
  • Share campus resources, the Counseling Center or partners Family Shelter Service and Arab American Family Services offer support
  • Get involved in PEACE, there are 4 events left for October and they include Healthy Relationship Bingo, ‘Reclaim Me’ Photo Series, Coping Skills for Health Relationships, and Purple Thursday

“We hope that all students will participate in Purple Thursday on October 22nd, the National Day of Action for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Students can wear purple to speak out against domestic violence and support survivors on our campus. Use the hashtag #benupurplethursday to share your purple. Follow the PEACE team on Instagram @benupeaceteam to learn more about how to get involved in violence prevention throughout the year,” says Ramsden.

For more information about upcoming events, contact Bernadette Ramsden at bramsden@ben.edu.