Issuu on Google+

the Jo u r n a l Wester n Oregon University’s Weekly Student Newspaper Since 1923 Volume 14 Issue 5 w w w. w o u . e d u / s t u d e n t / w e s t e r n j o u r n a l Wednesday, November 6, 2013 “Take Back the Night” A March Against Domestic Violence Erik McFarland | Freelancer I n Oregon, 22 women and two men were killed by their intimate partners in the last year alone. This was only one of many realities exposed at Abby’s House’s “Take Back the Night” event in Werner Center’s Columbia Room on Monday, Oct. 28. The night began with a welcome address from Dr. Mary Dello Stritto, a Western psychology professor and director of Abby’s House for the past three years. Abby’s House is a “resource and referral center for members of the entire community,” Dr. Dello Stritto said. She added that it’s not just a women’s center, but a place for “people to get resources on a variety of issues, like these issues of violence [and] also stress, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, housing assistance, [and] food assistance.” Abby’s House was established at Western in 1997 to help female students receive the services they needed. The contact information for several other organizations, such as Sable House and Center Against Rape & Domestic Violence (CARDV), was given at the event and are listed at the end of this article. Dr. Dello Stritto fed the audience an unabated flow of grim truths, dispelling myths and misunderstandings. The night was as much for helping people understand domestic violence as it was for empowering and aiding those who have experienced it. Following Dr. Dello Stritto’s introduction, in a moment of reflection, the audience was invited to use the time to reflect on what they had just learned, or share any past violence they had endured. However, because Dr. Dello Stritto and the Abby’s House Advocates are mandatory reporters, they left the room to provide those present a sense of freedom to express themselves. “I like to help other people, especially to be a discrete nonjudgmental listener, and that’s what Abby’s House Advocates are,” said lead Advocate Ashley Davis, a Western student majoring in psychology and social science. “We want to promote equity and nonviolence.” Abby’s House welcomes those who want to be involved and become Advocates, but Davis acknowledges that it can be difficult. Learning how to keep the appropriate boundaries while being as compassionate as possible is not always easy to do. Nonetheless, Davis wants everyone who has experienced domestic violence or any other hardship to know that the organization is there to support them. After Dr. Dello Stritto and the advocates had left, a gong was struck every nine seconds, symbolizing how often a woman is beaten, and the floor was opened for anyone to share. What was said inside the room is not for outsiders to know, but many left the room sobbing. Upon reentering the room, the words, “You Are Beautiful” were seen written on the white board. As Dr. Dello Stritto explained, domestic violence takes many forms: physical, sexual, psychological or emotional. The emotional abuse is, as said by one of the presenters, especially “insidious and crazy-making.” Dr. Dello Stritto also emphasized the importance of not falling prey to stereotypes and quick initial judgments. Victims of domestic violence are often told that it is their fault, or that they could have done something to prevent it, such as wearing different clothing or going in a different direction. Dr. Dello Stritto says that these false accusations are quite possibly brought about by desensitized attribution. As explained by Dr. Dello Stritto, this is when an individual puts themselves in the victim’s place and tell themselves that they would not have done what the victim did. By doing this we make ourselves feel safer; as if it that would never happened to them, and thus that they don’t need to worry. Western’s Green Dot club, a group committed to nonviolence on campus, made an appearance after the moment of reflection. Green Dot works on making the campus safe from all forms of violence and offers training for individuals, groups and teams. March See Page 9 Adrianne Schneider | Photo Courtesy 4 NEWS The Resolution Solution: “Egypt in Crisis” 6 CAMPUS LIFE Fall Preview Day is Upon is 10 SPORTS New Director of Media Relations


Related publications