Clark State aims to raise awareness of domestic violence in 2 new campaigns

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Clark State College is launching two campaigns to help bring awareness to domestic violence.

Purple ribbons will be on trees near the entrance to the Technology and Learning Center (TLC) on the main campus in Springfield and red flags will be placed near the front entrance of the main campus, according to a release from the school.

“The purple ribbons not only represent domestic violence awareness but they also represent the awareness of increased bullying towards LGBTQ community members,” said Roseann Terbay, peer recovery support specialist. “October represents awareness for so many causes, we felt it was appropriate to bring attention to these. We will also have signs at all locations explaining what these ribbons represent.”

Domestic violence and LGBTQ bullying has touched staff, faculty and students, Terbey said.

“Having these symbols visible to our students will let them know that we stand in support of them,” she said. “By us having these signs and ribbons available for people to see, shows that we know that this is an issue, and we want our students to feel comfortable talking to our staff and faculty. We have resources available for immediate need.”

The red flags are a part of the Red Flag Campaign, which uses a bystander intervention strategy to address and prevent sexual assault, dating violence and stalking on college campuses. It encourages the campus community to say something when they see warning signs, or “red flags,” according to the release.

The public awareness campaign is aimed at “changing the social norms,” said Melinda Van Noord, counseling services coordinator.

“The intent is to focus on bystander intervention and helping students recognize when their friends are in troubled relationships; when they see the red flag, the warning signs, [we want them] to say something. We want people to speak out when they see something wrong,” she said.

The flags are being displayed in conjunction with other awareness events, including Purple Thursday, The Clothesline Projects and Active Bystander Intervention training.

The Clothesline Project, which runs through Oct. 18, features t-shirts decorated by campus members with messages that honor domestic violence survivors and instill hope. The display will be in the the TLC Rotunda at the main campus.

The Active Bystander Intervention training is a one-hour class to learn how to safely respond when they witness abuse, bullying and harassments, and about signs of partner violence and how to offer support to victims. It will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, and at 12 p.m. on Oct. 22 via Zoom.

Purple Thursday, held on Oct. 21, is a national day of action in which supporters are asked to wear purple, the color of domestic violence awareness.

“Clark State recognizes the impact of domestic violence on the lives of many of our students,” Van Noord said. “We want to show our support for victims, raise awareness about crisis resources for domestic violence, and educate campus members about ‘red flags’ of abusive relationships and ways they can intervene safely if they witness or suspect abuse.”

Project Woman also continues to hold events for October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The annual Diva Night Out fundraiser will be held at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 14, at COhatch. There will be specialty drinks, pampering stations, live entertainment and more. There is a suggested $5 donation for entry.

A community drive is being held for items to donate to help women and families in the Project Woman programs. Donation items include paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, etc.), high efficiency laundry detergent and dryer sheets, cleaning products and trash bags, diapers, phone and gas cards, bus passes, personal hygiene items for women or children, linens (bath or kitchen towels, wash clothes, etc.), and journals or notebooks. Donations can be dropped off in the box by The Market Bar and Give Wall.

The annual candlelight vigil in honor of survivors, advocates, and allies working together to end domestic violence was held on Oct. 7 at the Project Woman offices.

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