Domestic Violence Awareness Month

PHOTO COURTESY/ YouTube Joy Forrest

PHOTO COURTESY/ YouTube Joy Forrest

October is the month in which we observe and raise awareness of the effects of domestic violence across the nation. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some form of domestic violence by their significant other. One of the biggest misconceptions about domestic violence is that it is limited only to physical assault. 

Abuse can be seen in different forms––physical, emotional or verbal–– and can contribute to the harm of an individual’s mental health. The University has enlisted resources such as the contact information for the Campus Support Advisor for students who have fallen victim to domestic violence or sexual assault. St. John’s University has also partnered with the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) to offer a two semester clinic called the Domestic Violence Litigation Clinic for students who desire a future career in law. The conversation of domestic violence on campus had been open for discussion as a few students weighed in with their thoughts.

“I’ve never encountered anyone that has been in a domestic violence situation, but I feel as if that would be a toxic environment and anyone placed in it would feel trapped,” said Maya Alberts, a current freshman. 

Hassan Mousa, also a current freshman, weighed in by stating “I think it’s crazy that we have to be having a discussion about this. You shouldn’t be hitting your spouse or anyone!” 

According to Healing Abuse Working for Change (HAWC), the statistics have shown that 70% of young adults in college have a hard time realizing that they are in a domestic violence situation. Identifying the key signs of abuse and knowing the resources that are available around you are very instrumental to the prevention of domestic abuse. Every St. John’s University student has their rights protected under the University’s students’ Bill of Rights in relation to sexual assault and domestic violence. Having a fair opportunity to be heard, and the right to be protected against retaliation from the University or the accused are two of the eleven rights that are listed here

Domestic violence is an issue that many Americans experience, with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) reporting nearly 20 people becoming victims to physical violence per minute nationwide. “Domestic violence is embarrassing. You’re hitting…someone that may not have the strength to hit you back” said Pharoah King, freshman business major.

If you or someone you may know on campus has been undergoing troublesome experiences in their relationship, regardless if it’s exclusive or not, contact the Department of Public Safety for assistance or local law enforcement for an emergency.