This October, we are not just given the opportunity, but are called to participate in the fight against domestic violence. An issue that continues throughout the year, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and our chance as a community to call for change and be a part of that change. This month includes countless campaigns and projects by groups such as The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). As found on their website, NNEDV is participating in the campaign “Beyond the Buzzwords.” Starting October 1st, each day will focus on a word related to domestic violence and go further into its meaning to understand what these words mean to our society, including those who have experienced domestic violence. This campaign can be found at https://nnedv.org/latest_update/going-beyond-buzzwords-domestic-violence-awareness-month/.
Besides these overarching campaigns and projects, Peace and Justice, Residence Life and the Gender and Society class here at Loras encourage you to get involved on campus. Campus is one of the most important places to bring awareness to domestic violence as women 18-24 who are college students are three times more likely to experience sexual violence than women in general (Department of Justice). While all of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, October 14th through October 20th is National Week of Action, and that is exactly what these groups plan to do. Each day of the week, these groups will be collaborating to act against domestic violence and for awareness. We encourage you to participate with our faculty and students in these events next week.
The NNEDV website gives themes and ideas for each day of the week of action.
Sunday is #SelflessSunday and we encourage you to donate! There will be donation boxes in the residence halls, ARC and ACC, all week and all monetary donations will be given to the Riverview Center here in Dubuque. Riverview Center is a non-profit agency that is a resource for those affected by sexual violence in Iowa and Illinois. You can also donate items, we are collecting items on the wish list for Opening Doors which provides resources specifically for women. The most important part of this week is raising awareness about domestic violence and providing resources in order to help those affected which is why we are focusing on the resources within the Dubuque community. Also on Sunday we are working with residence life to show a film at 7pm in the Hoffman Theater with discussion to follow.
For My Voice Monday we encourage you to start a conversation about how to bring awareness to domestic violence, how we can support survivors and how we can prevent domestic violence in the future. Changing the narrative can be a useful way to draw attention to the issue, support survivors and prevent future violence. For ideas on how to change the narrative surrounding domestic violence, check out https://www.pinterest.com/nnedv/31-ways-to-challenge-dv-myths-31n31-october-2016/?lp=true. Since the official color of domestic violence awareness is purple, we will be giving out purple ribbons by the café during lunch for you to wear during the week to show your support.
Tweet #Safety4Survivors for Twitter Chat Tuesday and if you missed our table on Monday, stop by the café during lunchtime and grab a ribbon to show your support. We will also be getting a head start on Wednesday’s theme by offering a chance to sign a petition to send to your representatives in favor of legislation in favor of protecting our communities against domestic violence.
On #WokeWednesday we encourage you to advocate! This week is all about taking action, so use this day as an extra chance to be active in the fight against domestic violence. If you missed the petition signing on Tuesday, stop by the cafe on Wednesday during lunchtime to add your name and help us show our representatives what is important to us.
#PurpleThursday should be easy for all duhawks, wear purple to show your support for survivors and for ending domestic violence. Don’t forget your ribbons from earlier in the week! At 6pm, join us in the Walhert library for a panel for survivors to share their stories to help us understand the how domestic violence can affect survivors, how others can get through it, and their ideas on how to prevent it in the future. The panel will be followed by a candle vigil outside of Walhert at 7:30pm.
For Fame Friday we work to change the narrative surrounding domestic violence as it is portrayed in the media and all forms of pop culture. Speak out on how to change these narratives to support survivors and prevention.
On #TechSafety Saturday we focus on how to use technology in ways that work as a precautionary measure to keep you protected from domestic violence. The help desk will email campus to lay out the best ways to be safe on the internet, especially social media, and how to keep your location offline. We will also be providing handouts around campus that give information and tips on tech safety.
This month is the perfect time for each of us to begin to change the way we see and talk about domestic violence. Take advantage of the effort of students to include all those on campus in the fight against domestic violence. Domestic violence comes in many forms and affects every gender, race, religion, and class. Change always begins small, starting with the individual, spreading to groups, communities, regions, nations and eventually, worldwide. The purpose of the week of action and the awareness month in general is to raise awareness, support survivors and to come together to end domestic violence.