Special to The Sun
The University of Central Oklahoma observes Domestic Violence Awareness Month with a variety of activities for students throughout October.
Celebrated nationally since 1981, Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the “Day of Unity,” started by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The focus of the month is to connect advocates who work to stop violence against women and children.
“I hope Central’s students understand that it is okay to argue and have disagreements within close relationships, but it is never okay to be verbally, emotionally or physically abusive. We want them to recognize when their friends are in unhealthy relationships so they can help them find the courage and resources to get out,” said Wendy Joseph, coordinator of the Violence Prevention Project at Central.
Events for Domestic Violence Awareness Month include:
• HopeLine Table, 10 a.m., Oct. 16, 18, 24 and 31, food court, Nigh University Center (NUC): The table will provide information about the Version Cell Phone Drive and will be taking used cell phone donations. The drive helps families living in dangerous situations by providing them with an untraceable means of emergency outreach. When the table is not set up, the collection box will be in the Central Tech Store by the food court.
• S.T.O.P., 10 a.m., Oct. 4, Broncho Lake: Students will place stop signs and flyers around campus to encourage students to not be a bystander in bullying and violence. There will also be information about events throughout the month and sidewalk chalk for students to write messages or draw pictures that encourage taking a stand and speaking out against violence.
• Wall of Stories, 10 a.m., Oct. 16, food court, NUC: The Wall of Stories is a display of anonymous stories from survivors of domestic violence, notes of encouragement and information on domestic and dating violence. There will also be a representative from the YWCA to provide information about the organization and recruiting volunteers.
• Hearts for Survivors, 9 a.m., Oct.18, food court, NUC: A table will be set up for students to assemble Halloween goody bags for families in shelters and write cards to domestic violence survivors.
• Wear Purple Day, 9 a.m., Oct. 24, food court, NUC: The table will pass out purple ribbons for domestic violence awareness.
• Clothesline Project, 10 a.m., Oct. 25, food court, NUC. Students will decorate shirts in honor of victims and survivors.
• Silent Witness, Oct. 31, throughout campus: Silhouettes of domestic violence victims and their stories will be placed around campus to promote awareness.
For more information about Domestic Violence Awareness Month, visit the Violence Prevention Project Office in Room 406 of the NUC or call 405-974-2224.