Domestic Violence Awareness Month Week of Action events

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month Week of Action is Oct. 16-20. SAVE Taskforce will have programming throughout the week and would love your participation! All events will be held in A. Lincoln Commons. Throughout the week, we encourage everyone to post about their participation in DVAM Week of Action events with the hashtag #TakeAStand.

Monday, Oct. 16 – Pledge Day, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
As members of the LLCC community, pledge to use your education, experiences and voices to speak out against intimate partner violence. Sign the pledge and post on social media about why you took the pledge or the steps you will take to live up to your pledge. Remember, use #TakeAStand to be a part of the national conversation on ending domestic violence!

Tuesday, Oct. 17 – Take a Stand Tuesday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
In correlation with the National Week of Action theme, faculty, staff and students are encouraged to sign up to take a stand against domestic and intimate partner violence — literally! Symbolic of our refusal to be passive bystanders of intimate partner violence in our community, we will have at least one person “taking a stand” in A. Lincoln Commons from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Participants can sign up for a time slot that fits your schedule here. We will have conversation tips and signs available for all participants. Share a message of your commitment to taking a stand against domestic violence using #TakeAStand.

Wednesday, Oct.18 – Silent Witness, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Sojourn Shelter and Services will be on campus with their Silent Witness exhibit. This exhibit both honors victims and uses their stories to convey the tragic reality of domestic violence (more information here: http://www.silentwitness.net). There will be representatives from Sojourn present to hand out information.

Thursday, Oct. 19 – Purple Thursday, “Talk About It Thursday,” 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Wear your purple and bring your $5 to the LLCC Student Life Office to participate in the Feminist Activist Coalition’s Jeans Day benefiting Sojourn Shelter and Services, a local domestic violence resource center. This year, we will also be handing out purple ribbons attached to a small sheet with tips for having an informed conversation about domestic violence. Recipients of the purple ribbons will be encouraged to talk to at least one person using their conversation tip.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month began in 1981 with a “Day of Unity.” In 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. Since its beginning, domestic violence awareness has focused on three common themes:

  • Mourning those who have died because of domestic violence
  • Celebrating those who have survived
  • Connecting those who work to end violence

The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence states that nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men in the United States have suffered severe physical violence by an intimate partner; however, domestic violence typically involves more than physical violence. Victims often suffer cycles of violence that include psychological, sexual and financial abuse. Domestic abuse can happen in all kinds of relationships and has extreme effects on victims, children and our community.

Throughout the month of October, SAVE Taskforce is leading an awareness campaign called “See the Signs, Take a Stand.” Staff and faculty are encouraged to look for posters on campus designed by graphic arts students that display the signs of intimate partner violence and take a stand against domestic violence. For more information about the prevalence and effects of intimate partner violence and what you can do to help, see the weekly LincIn posts to follow and visit LLCC’s Sexual Violence Resources website.

LLCC hosts Day of Action 10 a.m.-1 p.m. TODAY in honor of National Sexual Assault Awareness Month

LLCC is hosting a Day of Action in correlation with National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. today in A. Lincoln Commons.

The day’s events include a “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” inspired runway show, an educational area featuring TED talks on topics surrounding sexual violence and a cupcake sale to raise funds for the Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault (PCASA).

Males are invited to walk the runway (heels provided) to show their support and compete for the award of Runway Star.

Representatives from PCASA will be present to discuss the services they provide and give information about their upcoming 11th annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event. Resources, informational handouts and awareness coloring pages will be available in the educational area.

At 1:30 p.m., there will be a showing of “The Hunting Ground” in the A. Lincoln Commons followed by a facilitated discussion on the theoretical and practical aspects of the film.

Hosted by the LLCC Sexual Assault and Violence Education (SAVE) Taskforce, the Day of Action kicks off SAAM with events aimed at informing people about steps that can be taken toward preventing sexual assault by promoting safety, respect and equality.

For more information, contact Shelby Bedford at shelby.bedford@llcc.edu.

Volunteers Needed for Day of Action

The Sexual Assault and Violence Education (SAVE) Task Force is hosting their second annual Sexual Assault Awareness Day of Action on April 4.  SAVE Task Force needs your help to make this event a success! Volunteers are needed for a variety of roles and time frames, so if you are interested in helping, sign up here now!

More information about volunteering is available by contacting Nicole Ralph at nicole.ralph@llcc.edu.

Stalking Awareness: Myth vs. Reality

MYTH: Most stalking victims are stalked by a stranger. REALITY: Most victims are stalked by someone they know. Intimate partner stalking is the most common type of stalking, and the most dangerous. As National Stalking Awareness Month draws to a close, SAVE Taskforce would like to thank everyone who joined our efforts to debunk common and dangerous myths about stalking. Thanks to everyone who participated in Jeans Day.  The Jacksonville Activities Board raised $225 for Sojourn Shelter and Services to help them continue offering services for victims of stalking and domestic violence. For more information about SAVE Taskforce or sexual violence, visit www.llcc.edu/sexual-violence-resources.

Is Domestic Violence Preventable?

Throughout the month of October, SAVE Task Force has focused on educating others on the signs of domestic violence and highlighting the complexities of this type of violence and abuse. We know that domestic violence effects 12 million people per year in the United States alone. We know that this type of violence carries a national economic cost of $8.3 billion per year. 40% of homicides worldwide are perpetrated by the victim’s intimate partner. America has a female homicide rate almost 5 times higher than other high-income countries, but experts say this type of homicide is one of the most predictable and preventable.  So what can we do to help prevent intimate partner violence?

Effective prevention strategies require community investment, collaboration, and participation across all sectors, between violence prevention fields, and among related health and social justice movements. No single program can change the environmental factors and norms that contribute to intimate partner violence. Preventing violence means changing our society and its institutions—eliminating attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, environments and policies that contribute to violence and promoting those that stop the violence. James Mercy, Director of the Division of Violence Prevention with the CDC, noted the importance of teaching safe and healthy relationships, disrupting the development of abusive behaviors between generations, providing protective environments (work, school, etc.), and supporting survivors (October 2016). Primary prevention efforts impact several modifiable factors associated with intimate partner violence, such as reducing acceptance of violence, challenging social norms, practices, and policies that place girls and women at increased risk, and confronting gender and racial injustice.

While domestic violence is not a problem that will be easily solved by a single approach, there are things we can do in our everyday lives that support the multidisciplinary social change necessary. The Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence recommends these “15 Ways you can Help Stop Domestic Violence.” These steps include actions such as: modeling a non-violent, respectful response to resolving conflicts; calling the police if you witness violence in progress; evaluating mass media and entertainment for messages that encourage violence, specifically violence against women, and refusing to support music, movies, businesses, and media producers that perpetuate these types of messages; and giving your time and/or money to your local domestic violence resource centers.

As we wrap up Domestic Violence Awareness month, we would like to thank all those who have attended, assisted, or encouraged others to participate in SAVE’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month programs. In addition to the steps outlined above, SAVE suggests encouraging your co-workers, employees, or students to participate in educational programming on campus to help increase the level of awareness and accurate education on gender-based violence. For more information on SAVE programming and upcoming events, contact Shelby Bedford at shelby.bedford@llcc.edu or Leslie Johnson at leslie.johnson@llcc.edu.

Economic and Financial Aspects of Domestic Violence

Although domestic violence is not caused by poverty, unemployment, and economic recession, these factors may increase the risk of domestic violence. Nationwide data shows that the economy has a large effect on domestic violence incidents and reporting by victims. Women living in disadvantaged neighborhoods are more than twice as likely to be the victims of intimate partner violence compared with women in more advantaged neighborhoods. According to 56% of shelters, domestic violence is more violent now than before the economic downturn (National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, 2016).

Economic stress and hardship may increase the demand for services, just as emergency domestic violence service providers are struggling with fewer resources. One can see how this would be particularly true in Illinois as an effect of the budget impasse. Locally, Sojourn Shelter and Services relies on state grants and funding to provide most of their $1.3 million annual budget (SJ-R, 2015). In 2015, the Shelter served more than 6,000 clients, also providing court advocates for five counties and helping with over 1,500 orders of protection (London, News Channel 20). The increasing need for the resources provided by Sojourn Shelter and Services while the shelter is experiencing a decrease in their budget because of statewide economic hardship is not a phenomenon, but a norm; during times of economic uncertainty, eighty percent of domestic violence shelters nationwide report and increase in women seeking assistance from abuse.

In addition to the system-wide effects of economic hardship on domestic violence reporting and access to services, domestic violence may cause financial problems for survivors and entrap them in poverty and an abusive relationship. Women in abusive relationships report instances in which battering obstructed their ability to find work, maintain employment, and use their wages to establish greater economic independence and safety. About 45% of participants in a survey of 1,500 domestic violence survivors reported experiencing financial difficulties, including many not being able to pay basic bills. More than ¾ of shelters indicate their clients stayed longer in their relationships due to the state of the economy. Even after victims are able to escape their abuser, it is difficult for survivors to re-establish themselves financially. (National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, 2016)

While not a frequently discussed aspect of domestic violence, one can see that the effects of economic hardship and uncertainty have very real and often detrimental effects on domestic violence incidents, reporting by victims, and access to services. For more information on what you can do to help, contact your local domestic violence shelter and stay tuned for our last Domestic Violence Awareness post, coming Monday, Oct. 31.

SAVE Task Force thanks many more!

Yesterday’s article regarding a very successful Domestic Violence Awareness Week of Action held at LLCC was published without the full list of those individuals that SAVE Task Force would like to have specially thanked. Many were involved in the activities throughout the week and deserve mention. They are:

Chris Barry, Deborah Brothers, Shanda Byer, Tammy Chrisler, Becky Croteau, Esteban Cruz, Lesley Frederick, Lindee Hall, Ryan Howland, Valerie Howse, John Paul Jaramillo, Leslie Johnson, Judy Jozaitis, Amandeep Kaur, Brandon Lewis, Susan Mendenhall, Michael Phelon, Eileen Tepatti, Marie Watson, Lynn Whalen, Beth Wiediger, Amanda Wiesenhofer and Marina Wirsing.

Thank you!

Thank you from SAVE Task Force

SAVE Task Force would like to thank everyone who participated in Domestic Violence Awareness Week of Action events. In a symbolic display of our refusal to accept domestic violence in our society, 104 students, staff, and faculty members participated in “Take a Stand Tuesday.” Throughout the week, 97 LLCC community members pledged to use their education, experiences, and voices to be active in the fight against all forms of sexual violence, including domestic and intimate partner violence. Jeans Day raised $175, which the Feminist Activist Coalition will donate to Sojourn Shelter and Services, a local domestic violence shelter and service agency. Through the stories and pledges shared by participants, it is now clearer than ever that we are a community of engaged and thoughtful citizens, activists, survivors, and supporters.

If you have not yet taken the pledge and wish to do so, we encourage you to download the pledge here and return it to Shelby Bedford in Menard 1143 (across from Admission & Registration).

Special thanks to those who signed up to take a stand throughout the day, ensuring someone was representing the movement at all times during the day on Tuesday:
Chris Barry, Deborah Brothers, Shanda Byer, Tammy Chrisler, Becky Croteau, Esteban Cruz, Lesley Frederick, Lindee Hall, Ryan Howland, Valerie Howse, John Paul Jaramillo, Leslie Johnson, Judy Jozaitis, Amandeep Kaur, Brandon Lewis, Susan Mendenhall, Michael Phelon, Eileen Tepatti, Marie Watson and Lynn Whalen, Beth Wiediger, Amanda Wiesenhofer, Marina Wirsing.

The Cost of Domestic Violence

Oftentimes, the effects of domestic violence are incorrectly seen as isolated, extending only a short period of time after the abuse and effecting only the direct recipient of the abuse. In combination with hesitancy to intervene in what is seen as “other people’s business,” this can lead many to the false assumption that domestic violence is a confined and personal issue that should be addressed by only victims of the abuse. In reality, the devastating effects of domestic violence can be seen in life-long health care costs, workplace productivity, and many more aspects of our society.

In addition to the long-term emotional and psychological effects that domestic violence has on its survivors, there is a tangible cost to victims, their communities, and society as a whole. Domestic violence costs our nation billions of dollars annually, including costs for medical and mental health care, lost productivity, and homicide lost earnings. Nationally, estimates of the medical cost burden of intimate partner violence, within the first 12 months after victimization, range from $2.3 billion to $7 billion dollars (depending on the research method used). Survivors of physical intimate partner violence have reported an average of 7.2 days of work-related lost productivity and 33.9 days in productivity losses associated with other activities.

Through government funding and volunteer donations, domestic violence shelter costs are born by American society. Providing the benefits of shelters and services to individuals and communities ultimately benefits all Americans because the benefits improve our communities. This broader social benefit is one rationale for increasing our individual efforts to assist in the prevention of domestic violence and/or the assistance provided to survivors. Considering the widespread and long-term effects of domestic violence on our loved ones, our community, and our society, it becomes clear that domestic violence cannot be tolerated or ignored.

(National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, 2016)