By Shannon Nia AlomarSTAFF WRITER
Members of the Hofstra community are taking this week to inform their peers and express solidarity with victims of domestic violence, in acknowledgement of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“[Sigma Delta Tau is] supporting domestic violence [awareness] because it’s a hidden issue that needs to be brought to light somehow,” said junior public relations and political science major Francesca Bove.
Bove is a member of the Gamma Gamma Chapter of Sigma Delta Tau, which is working to help spread the influence of the initiative by selling purple nail polishes called “girls achieve greatness.”
One noticeable promotion tactic used by the office to get the week started were seen on several cups of coffee and tea Monday.
OSLA also is working to recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month, with their annual “Domestic Violence Awareness Week,” which kicked off on Monday. A main goal of the week is to inspire Hofstra students to get involved with promoting this cause and to stay informed on the importance of bringing attention to an issue that affects so many people’s lives, even if it is rarely spoken about publicly.
The office’s first initiative could be seen on hot beverages.
OSLA created hot cup sleeves with the words “Domestic Violence Awareness Week” in purple letters as well as the link to view the scheduled events and the infamous “Lead with Pride” logo.
Ariel L. Adrian, graduate assistant in OSLA, said she has learned about the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the mission of which is to work to make changes within society to help demolish all violence against women and children from society and personal circumstances.
“It’s important to not be ‘in-your-face’ with domestic violence because it is a very sensitive topic. I learned from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence that in case someone is being abused, if their abuser finds [information] in their backpack… [they may be] opening themselves up to more abuse,” Adrian said.
On Monday, OSLA also hosted an event in the Student Center which encouraged students to pledge never to hurt another person with “their words or their hands.” Students wrote their names on purple hearts, which are often used as a symbol of nonviolence, according to the event announcement on Hofstra’s website.
According to the Domestic Violence Resource Center website, 43 percent of college women have reported experiencing some form of abuse while on their campus and 57 percent of college students said that it is difficult to identity dating abuse.
“A lot of people think domestic violence is just hitting but it’s so much more. It could be verbal abuse, it could be cyber abuse,” Adrian said. “By definition domestic violence is violence against someone you’re close to. It’s important to be aware of what is considered domestic violence and how to protect yourself.”
OSLA has provided a wealth of information about the signals of an abusive relationship and where students can go on campus if they are or know of someone who is a victim of domestic abuse. Hofstra’s policy regarding domestic violence and sexual assault can be accessed online for those interested reviewing the standards set in place here on campus.
OSLA has other events planned this week about domestic violence. Students can access further resources about events and domestic violence assistance at wwww.hofstra.edu/DVA.