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JONESBORO — Arkansas State University’s Counseling Center is sponsoring a special “Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention” week, Monday through Friday, Sept. 10-14, in preparation for Domestic Violence Awareness month in October.
The week is an effort to draw attention to problems related to sexual assault and domestic violence and is an annual event held by the Counseling Center to encourage the community to take steps to prevent domestic violence in families and society.
Domestic violence is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks as well as economic coercion that adults or adolescents use against their intimate partner or other family member.
Interactive educational activities will be held each weekday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Natural State Lounge of the Carl R. Reng Student Union. Victims and survivors of domestic violence will be honored with a candlelight vigil in the Student Union Heritage Plaza courtyard in the grass on the front lawn, Thursday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. Special guest speakers will be at the vigil to talk about their personal stories and to share safety tips for getting out of an abusive relationship.
Last year 14 Arkansas women were murdered during an act of domestic violence. Each victim will be personally memorialized during the vigil. The public is encouraged to join the ASU campus community and participate in this educational awareness program.
Created by Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence in 1995, the “Silent Witness Project” consists of life-sized plywood cutouts painted red and black. Each cutout represents a female victim murdered by an intimate partner from the most recent year and tells the victim's story on a shield attached to the cutout. Last year 21 Arkansas women were murdered during an act of domestic violence. “The Silent Witness” will be on display from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. all week in the Natural State Lounge.
A video version of the “Clothesline Project” will also be displayed. Also created by Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence in 1994, the project is a collection of approximately 300 hand-decorated T-shirts displayed on a clothesline, with each T-shirt representing a woman killed in Arkansas by an intimate partner from 1989 to 2009.
For more information, contact. Dr. Philip Hestand, Counseling Center director, at email@example.com or (870) 972-2318.