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Domestic Violence Awareness Week: OSLA events educate students

By Marisa Russell (Staff Writer) Have you ever thought that the lyrics to the popular song “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke imply abuse?

Hofstra’s Office of Student Leadership and Activities (OSLA) is raising awareness about domestic violence this week through a myriad of events and speakers. On Monday, students evaluated the song lyrics from “Blurred Lines.”

Students wrote down their reactions to the lyrics, as well as expressed their feelings to on-hand counselors from the Saltzman Center. Nicole Thomas, assistant director of Student Leadership and Activities, had a part in planning the event.

“The ‘Blurred Lines’ project originated from a website that we found,” said Thomas. “The concept is that the lines or the lyrics from ‘Blurred Lines’ are very similar to words that someone who commits sexual violence would use.”

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, women ages 16-24 experience the highest levels of intimate partner violence.

Stanley Cherian, associate director of OSLA, believes that domestic violence should be taken seriously and awareness is extremely important, especially for college students.

“This is a common situation at universities all over the United States. There might be a perception that domestic violence only happens when you are older but it is also prevalent in college aged students,” Cherian said.

Cherian hopes that the students will become more aware of domestic violence through the events this week.

“We are trying to raise awareness of domestic violence within the community,” said Cherian. “I think this year we have a very robust program. We have a lot more events.”

OSLA also held another event Monday involving the Clothesline Project. The Clothesline Project aims to raise awareness of abuse against women through T-shirt decorating. Students decorated different colored T-shirts with words of experience or encouragement to represent or relate to the different kinds of abuse.

Danielle Williams, a junior psychology major, participated in the event as a part of Collegiate Women of Color and Active Minds. Williams learned about how the different kinds of domestic violence can affect people’s lives.

Williams decorated a shirt with many words of encouragement, which will be hanging in the Student Center Atrium until Friday afternoon. The shirts will remain hanging in hopes that they will generate conversation and questions among students.

Mikwaevonn Mills, a junior history major with a dual certification in childhood and early childhood education, understands the seriousness of domestic violence on a personal level.

“I do know people who have been affected, especially children,” said Mills. “Whenever domestic violence occurs, it affects everyone, not just the abuser and the abusee, but anyone who sees it, hears it or has to witness it.”

The week’s events will close out on Friday at 12 p.m. with a ceremony to take down the T-shirts hanging in the Student Center.

OSLA has many future events planned to shed light on domestic violence issues and would like students to know that counseling services are always available to those that need it.

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