Ozanam Society raises awareness on violence against women

Human trafficking and domestic violence among topics discussed

Cooper Miqueli, Assistant Opinion Editor

St. John’s students have undertaken a mission to end violence against women.

Mainly through the “It’s On Us” campaign, students are being informed about topics such as recognizing that non-consensual sex is sexual assault, identifying situations where the assaults may occur, intervening in situations where consent has not or cannot be given and creating an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.

The Ozanam Society also undertook a similar mission. On Oct. 12, student members of the Ozanam Society set up tables and different activities to help inform fellow students about violence against women.

“Our event is mainly focusing on bringing advocacy to violence against women around the world,” freshman Ozanam Scholar Reagan Babione said. “Here you can come to learn about anything ranging from domestic violence to human trafficking and much more.”

Among the many table stations included one concerning human trafficking and one displaying the views of menstruation in different countries. The stations showed how these concerns can prevent education for girls and women. Freshman Ozanam Scholar Natalia Gierber advocated for victims of human trafficking by having her hands tied with rope.

“To represent the women who are forced into sexual trafficking every year. It is not something they choose, they are tricked into it.” Gierber said.

St. John’s student Erl Marc believed the event opened eyes to violence concerning women, specifically in accordance to human trafficking and domestic violence.

“Very informative for people who didn’t know about human trafficking and how close it is to home,” he said. “I didn’t know that one in four women are victims to domestic violence.”

Gierber emphasized the importance of knowing the aspects regarding violence against women, and not just the general term.

“I think that violence against women is something everyone knows about,” she said. “I think it’s great that we did this event to show some of the specifics and not just violence as a whole.”

Marc noted the close distance to one of the largest locations relating to violence with women.

“It goes on so close to home, maybe 20 minutes from here is Queens Plaza, it’s one of the largest human trafficking locations in the United States,” he said.

The Ozanam Society chose to hold this event because of their similar ideas in respect to women’s rights.

“We all had a bunch of different ideas that all involved women’s rights and violence against women so we came together and created this event,”  junior Ozanam Scholar Dominic Gierber said.  “It’s the right thing to do. That is what fuels a lot of our events. We’re in the 21st century and we’re still fighting to stop violence and for equality.”