Did you know that an estimated 20-25% of all college aged women in the U.S. will experience a completed and/or attempted sexual assault during their college career? Did you also know that about one in ten all college aged men in the U.S. has experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner?
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Office of Student Leadership and Activities has collaborated with Student Counseling Services, the Domestic Harmony Foundation, the Nassau Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Hofstra student groups to bring attention to domestic violence issues and support domestic harmony.
We kicked off the week with a discussion on Sunday night hosted by Ask Big Questions, a student group formed through Hillel that facilitates conversations between Hofstra students. The discussion touched on shocking statistics regarding the number of victims of domestic violence, how the media portrays sexual assault, and what we can do as bystanders and college students in order to prevent this from happening. The students who attended the discussion left with a deeper understanding of these sensitive issues, and resources for help.
On Monday, the Student Center Atrium was filled with the tunes and lyrics of Robin Thicke's summertime hit, "Blurred Lines" in an effort to bring attention to the questionable message of the song and it's presumptuous lyrics. The Office of Student Leadership and Activities and the Counseling Center worked with students to dissect and discuss the questionable message of the song and students were encouraged to share their feelings and reactions.
Monday evening was the opening ceremony to the Clothesline Project, located in the back of the student center dining room. The Clothesline Project is a series of shirts in various colors and sizes, hanging from a “clothesline”. The shirts are color coded to show the form of abuse and whether the victim survived the abuse they experienced. Hofstra Students, OSLA, The Counseling Center, She's The First, Collegiate Women of Color, Women of Action and Active Minds, and Student for Safe Sex decorated the t-shirts with positive statements of encouragement, testimonies and quotes to support domestic harmony.
DV Awareness Programming continued with tie dying pillow cases on Tuesday to support consent. The pillow cases read "Keeping Sex Sexy: Talk Consent."
You probably saw people on campus wearing those blue t-shirts all day on Wednesday: "I Ask First, Often, and Always." Staff from the Office of Student Leadership and Activities, the Dean of Students Office, the Health and Wellness Center, student leaders, and organizations sported these t-shirts all day as we took a campus-wide initiative to "ask first, often, and always."
On Thursday, members of the Nassau Coalition Against Domestic Violence hosted an atrium table to talk about the "Red Flags of Domestic Violence" with Hofstra students, providing handouts, give-aways, hotline numbers and resources for students. It is important for college aged students to have these resources available.
The Clothesline Project Closing Ceremony was Friday at noon in the back of the student center dining room, where groups gathered to listen to the Counseling Center and realize that our support for victims of Domestic Violence should not end at the end of awareness week, but we should always be aware of how to help someone in need.
The culmination of programs for Domestic Violence Awareness Week is the Walk To End Domestic Violence on Sunday, October 27th at Eisenhower Park Field 5. Hosted by the Domestic Harmony Foundation, Hofstra students, staff, and faculty will fund raise and walk in support of the Domestic Harmony Foundation.
For information, regarding Hofstra University's Policy regarding Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault as well as the definition of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, please click here. If you are a victim of Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault or know someone who is, please contact Public Safety at 516-463-6789 as soon as possible. Hofstra University also offers counseling to students who have been victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Appointments can be set up at Student Counseling Services at 516-463-6791. If you need a counselor immediately call 516-463-6789. To find out what you can do to help the local community as well as see various resources open to you, please visit the Nassau Coalition Of Domestic Violence website here.