On Nov. 9, the Anti-Violence Alliance hosted the fifth annual candlelight vigil in honor of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
According to Haven Oakland, a women’s shelter, “Over 100 domestic violence-related homicides occur in Michigan every year.”
This event is for recognizing and remembering those who have died due to domestic violence. With six participants, the event started off with a presentation that described what domestic violence is. The second half of the event focused on the list of names of the people who have died in the last year from domestic violence in the state of Mich. Then a poem written by a domestic violence survivor was read.
Ferris alumini Sydney Mingori is the Violence Prevention Coordinator for the AVA. During the presentation, Mingori stated that the AVA is a small organization on campus that specializes in educating staff, students and faculty about interpersonal violence. According to Mingori, AVA provides resources for domestic violence victims and concerned friends and family.
“On campus, we have a free confidential victim’s advocate,” Mingori said. “This is a resource that can be used by students, staff, faculty and community members who have experienced any form of interpersonal violence like stalking, domestic violence, intimate partner violence and sexual violence or are looking for ways to better support a loved one who has experienced these things.”
During the presentation, Mingori described that the question, “Why don’t they just leave?” is “one of the most harmful phrases” said to somebody who is in a domestic violence situation. Mingori educated the group that one of the most dangerous times for a person experiencing domestic violence is when they leave the relationship.
“On average, two victims do try to leave,” Mingori said during the presentation. “They try to leave about seven times before they finally end up leaving that relationship.”
Divorce lawyer Charles Ullman’s website states that one in five college students say that they have been “abused by an intimate partner.”
Psychology senior Tyler Chicks went to the event because he’s had friends who’ve dealt with domestic abuse. He came as an ally in support of those friends.
“I just wanted to help bring awareness because it is definitely prevalent on college campuses,” Chicks said.
The Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence explains that in order to be a better ally, you have to “start the conversation” by understanding domestic violence, its impact and what to say when helping a victim.
General studies freshman Sam Lennon believes he would get involved in trying to help a domestic violence victim as much as he could.
“I would let them know that they have options and that there are sources out there that could help them,” Lennon said.
If you or someone you know is looking for resources about domestic violence, you can contact the Title IX office, speak to the Personal Counseling Center or call WISE at (231) 796-6600. For more information on what resources you can get at Ferris, visit AVA’s Instagram @fsuantiviolence.