In light of the recent domestic abuse scandal involving former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, it is apparent that domestic abuse is an issue that is just as frequently occurring now as it has ever been.
Domestic abuse can affect people of any status, and there are groups hoping to bring more attention to this issue.
The Troy Student Counseling Center is one such group.
Domestic abuse is defined as the pattern of controlling behaviors exerted by one partner over the other. It can be in the form of verbal, physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
The Student Counseling Center hosted The Clothesline Project. This event was created to raise awareness about domestic abuse. It began in 1990 with the intent to address the issue of domestic abuse and encourage awareness.
The idea for the project stemmed from women in Massachusetts who wanted to raise awareness in a way that had an impact on the general public as well as offer healing to those who were personally affected by abuse. T-shirts were painted and hung on clotheslines in public areas by the women who were personally affected as well as the supporters of victims.
Jenny Duncan, the Assistant Coordinator of the Student Counseling Center at Troy, said, “Today is October 1st, which kicks off Domestic Violence Awareness month, so because of that the Student Counseling Center is doing the Clothesline Project. It is a nationwide campaign that is designed to bring awareness and healing to those who have been affected by domestic violence. Anybody can come out, students, faculty and staff, and decorate a t-shirt in honor of someone that they know has been affected by domestic violence. If they don’t know anybody, they can just decorate a t-shirt for survivors and show their support.”
Students participating in the event were provided with paint, markers, and t-shirts and decorated their own shirts in honor of abuse victims. The shirts were displayed on a clothesline on Bibb Graves Quad.
The Student Counseling Center offers an abundance of resources for anyone who may be experiencing domestic abuse and it encourages students to speak out on the issue.
“We’re doing this to bring awareness to domestic violence, because a lot of times the biggest issue is that people don’t talk about it or they don’t want to talk about it,”Duncan said. “A lot of people who are suffering from an abusive relationship are afraid to tell anyone; they are afraid to get help. They may not realize that there’s help, so this is a way to let them know that there is help, there is hope.
“If you’re in an abusive relationship there are resources and ways to get out safely, and it’s not only just for people who are dealing with it, but friends and family and people who are witnessing it.”
Students who are currently enrolled in at least 1 credit hour on-site at Troy University’s Troy campus can utilize the services of the Student Counseling Center’s S.A.V.E. (Sexual Assault and Violence Education) Project.
In order to continue to raise domestic abuse awareness during October, the Student Counseling Center will also be hosting a “Wall of Stories”project.
Students can share their personal domestic abuse stories by sending them in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org through Friday, October 17th. The stories will be displayed anonymously on a “Wall of Stories”in the Trojan Center Food Court on Monday, October 20th.