This weekend, the Cornell Women’s Resource Center sponsored a candlelight vigil and a Silent Witness exhibit at the Robert Purcell Community Center as part of their annual weeklong Domestic Violence Awareness campaign.
Kelly Connison, director of the CWRC, organized the candlelight vigil on Friday night. Over twenty members of the Cornell community gathered outside of the Schwartz Performing Arts Center, holding signs and candles in an effort to draw attention to the issues surrounding domestic violence.
According to Connison, each year four million women will be victims of domestic violence in the United States. Signs held by those taking part in the event noted that 225 women would be beaten within the duration of the vigil.
Jessica Sailor ’06, member of the resource center advisory board, said that the vigil was an effective way to bring light to “an invisible problem, and to remind all the people going out tonight to be safe.” Lauren Allen grad, also a member of the resource center advisory board, mentioned that it was important for college students to be aware of the problem of domestic violence, since women between the ages of 20 and 30 experience the highest rates of domestic abuse.
The Cornell University Chorus, headed by Kimberly Rice ’06, also took part in the event. Rice said that music was a “nice way to get people’s attention through song.” She noted that many of the members of the choir are “active-minded” in the Cornell community, so there was no trouble in getting the group to participate in the vigil. Rice felt that domestic violence was “really something people should be aware of,” especially college-aged women who are more likely to be raped.
CWRC also set up an exhibit as a part of the Tunnel of Oppression, a “multi-sensory exhibition of oppression as it occurs in different forms in our world,” held to coincide with First-Year Family Weekend. The Silent Witness exhibit was set up as a series of several cardboard cutouts of women and children in the central New York region who were victims of domestic violence. Also featured were bulletin boards displaying facts about domestic violence and abuse as pertaining to college-aged women.
According to statistics, one in five college women will experience some form of dating violence. In addition, one third of college men have said that they were likely to have sex with an unwilling partner if they thought they could get away with it.
CWRC stresses that no one deserves to be abused and urges concerned individuals to call the 24-hour hotline at (607) 277-5000.
Archived article by Samira Chandwani
Sun Staff Writer