Education majors discuss ‘Amy’s story’

By Chelbi Mims
October 13, 2010

Colleen Lelli, assistant professor of education, discusses “Amy’s Story” with students. The film focuses on a case of domestic violence that happened in a community where residents were unaware it was a problem.

The Wolfington Center premiered the documentary “Amy’s Story” in a three-part series called Wednesday at the Wolf.

“Amy’s Story” was presented to raise awareness around campus about domestic violence and the 5K dash against domestic violence sponsored by the Laurel House.

“Amy’s Story” reflects on a domestic violence homicide in 2001. Detective Deirdri Fishel tells the story through a timeline by interviewing her co-workers, family, friends and law-enforcement officials to put together how a controlling relationship escalated to death.

“This movie taught me that if someone I’m in a relationship with seems controlling I should be cautious to get serious and get out of the relationship as quick as possible,” Amandeep Kaur, sophomore biology major, said.

Amy’s Story took place in central Pennsylvania in an area similar to Radnor. The video emphasizes that domestic violence usually takes place behind closed doors in idealistic communities. In the state of Pennsylvania, 39,371 protection from abuse orders were filed.

“Watching this documentary opened my eyes because this situation happened so close to where we live. It makes it real that abuse does happen,” Becca Rambo, freshman education major, said.

Many education majors attended the viewing of the documentary and after the movie were asked if a child in your classroom was a victim of domestic violence, how would you handle it?

“I never thought about having to deal with social problems like domestic violence in the classroom.  This really made me think,” Jessica Brennan, sophomore education major, said.

The Wolfington Center premiered this movie with help from many people.  Colleen Lelli, education professor, whose dissertation topic was on domestic violence, sponsored the documentary and lead the discussion.

Barbara Jordan, domestic violence advocate at the Laurel House, was a guest speaker at the documentary. Amy Persichetti, English instructor, conducts ECG 300: Dating and Domestic Violence in partnership with the Laurel House.

In Persichetti’s ECG 300, students become professionally certified under the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence and have to complete eight hours at the Laurel House under crisis counselors.

They research case studies involving domestic violence and work to receive grants.

“These students leave this class as advocates knowing that everyone deserves a healthy relationship,” Persichetti said.

Lelli, Jordan and Persichetti were a part of the panel in Washington, D.C. for feedback for the reauthorization of violence against women act. This panel included people from prominent fields in domestic violence advocacy.

Jordan recapped her visit to the White House and gave acclaim to Cabrini.

“This groundbreaking work in teachers teaching teachers is not being done in any other school in the United States.  Cabrini has made a commitment to raising awareness throughout the college,” Jordan said.

Jordan also told the startling facts by Vice President Joe Biden. In a recent study, 25 percent of young men and women in college thought it was alright for a man to hit a woman and one in four teenage girls are victims of domestic violence. She emphasized we need to work together to stop domestic violence.

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Chelbi Mims

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