October 22, 2004

CWRC Fights Against Domestic Abuse

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Students who passed through Robert Purcell Community Center on Wednesday evening and the Noyes Community Center last night did so while picking up pamphlets at information displays, accompanied by a sobering dose of reality. The displays were part of Domestic Violence Awareness month and the Clothesline Project, which is co-sponsored by the Cornell Women’s Resource Center and the Advocacy Center.

Clotheslines with t-shirts made by students, alumni or faculty members who were victims of domestic violence were hung around the perimeter of the displays. In the case of those victims who did not survive attacks of domestic violence, friends or family contributed shirts to honor their memory.

Volunteers from the center handed out purple ribbons representing domestic violence awareness with fact cards attached.

The CWRC and the Advocacy Center provided information with alarming statistics on the incidence of domestic violence in general, along with more specific information regarding domestic violence and college students.

“A woman is abused every eight seconds in the United States,” said Kelly Connison, director of the CWRC.

According to the fact sheets distributed, one in five college women will experience some form of dating violence, and women ages 16-24 experience the highest rates of intimate partner violence. Between four and six million women in the United States experience domestic violence every year.

There are many patterns of behavior that people incorrectly fail to classify as domestic violence. Pamphlets from the Advocacy Center explained that domestic violence includes not only physical abuse; it can also include sexual and emotional abuse. If someone prevents his or her partner from getting a job or takes money from their partner, they have committed economic abuse. Threats and intimidation, as well as isolation from friends and family, are also forms of domestic violence.

In addition to the Clothesline Project, the CWRC held events all week to continue to raise domestic violence awareness. A candlelight vigil is planned for tonight in Collegetown as a way to remember those who have not survived attacks of domestic violence. Tomorrow, the center will be participating in the Tunnel of Oppression, an exercise in which various organizations occupy rooms that contain exhibits on a variety of topics, including domestic violence. This event will take place at RPCC from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. The goal of this project is to invite students and faculty to reflect on the hate and oppression present in our society. CWRC’s room will contain the Silent Witness Project, an exhibit in memory of Tompkins County residents that have died as a result of domestic violence.

CWRC advisory board member Bethany Sweeney ’05 provided more insight as to the steps the center takes in addressing cases of domestic violence.

“We’ll provide information and we’re always available to talk, but everything depends on the individual person and the individual case. We can refer victims to the Advocacy Center, Gannett or EARS,” Sweeney said.

The CWRC encourages anyone concerned about domestic violence to contact the center. “Anyone can call and ask for help and suggestions on how to get out of [situations of] domestic violence,” Connison said.

Archived article by Jen Murabito
Sun Staff Writer