Domestic Violence Symposium encourages students to stop assault and take action

By Kelly Bush
October 18, 2016

Photo by Kelly Bush

“More than 20 people per minute experience physical violence,” Rose said. Cabrini is one of 600 universities involved in an It’s On Us campaign which focuses on engaging society in preventing sexual assault. This program was created by the White House to inspire people and to spread awareness about how everyone has a responsibility to stop assault and take action.

On Oct. 7, 2016, the annual Domestic Violence Symposium was held in the Grace Hall Atrium at Cabrini University. The symposium was held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and students and faculty members attended to hear keynote speakers discuss the topic of domestic violence. 

Many students are unaware of the physical violence that is happening around them on a daily basis on a college campus. According to Kristina Rose, senior policy advisor on violence against women, one in 10 students are assaulted by a partner. 

Campus climate surveys show that the red zones throughout the universities are high the months of August through October, which often leads to more cases revolving around sexual assault.

“Twenty percent of women experience sexual assaults in college,” Rose said. The Violence Against Woman Act was passed 22 years ago to provide an investigation into and prosecution of crimes against women. These incidents happen on college campuses with an acquaintance or a not a well-known friend, such as a person that you might know of or come across at least once on campus.

Danielle Jackson, a computer science major, thinks the symposium was very beneficial. “Everyone should know how to identify domestic violence even if it’s not happening to them,” Jackson said.

Jackson also felt that there should be more programs and symposiums on campus so people can be more aware of what to look for. More than half of on-campus reports show that the victim and/or the offender was under the influence.

Students are more likely to disclose to a roommate or a friend. Jessica Burman, a licensed psychologist, recommends that if a person confides in you, “you need to be supportive and do not push them to do anything they do not want to.”

Just being there for a friend is the most important thing for someone to do. If you are a bystander in a situation like this, you should go with your gut feeling that something is wrong. “A check in can be enough to alert your friend or other person that you see something is happening,” Burman said.

There are many ways you can alert someone that an assault is happening, there is a domestic violence hotline that has received over 4 million contacts since it has been around.

This is an issue that needs to be addressed and can happen to you or anyone you know. “If you do not feel comfortable approaching it call someone,” Eliza Costoso, a national certified counselor, said.

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Kelly Bush

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