In the United States, 24 people will fall victim to some form of domestic violence within the next 60 seconds, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Statistically speaking, an estimated 12 million people per year are physically, sexually and emotionally abused by their family members or lovers. 24% of women and 13.8% of men who are 18 or older have experienced sexual or physical violence from intimate partners in their lifetime.
As terrifying as this all sounds, it’s important to remember that help and support is out there. Rowan University’s Office of Social Justice, Inclusion, and Conflict Resolution (SJICR) has once again provided a voice for those who have been impacted by domestic violence.
On Monday, Oct. 29, SJICR hosted a small event titled “PROFS Go Purple.” Students were invited to visit the Multicultural Center in Hawthorn Hall to write uplifting and inspirational messages on purple t-shirts, all of which were put up on display with the help of clotheslines outside the building.
This course of action was inspired by an organization known as the Clothesline Project. Starting in 1990, the Clothesline Project began their mission of spreading awareness about domestic violence through the means of decorating t-shirts. Many of the shirt colors hold symbolic meaning; white shirts for women who have died recently from domestic violence, black for women assaulted because of political beliefs and many more. In an act of solidarity, SJICR chose purple shirts, which represent women attacked because of their sexual orientation.
“It is a visual reminder of statistics that we often ignore,” the Clothesline Project’s website states.
Dr. JoAnna Murphy, assistant director of women’s and inclusion programs, as well as interim assistant director for LGBTQIA+ inclusion programs, was one of the SJICR advisors who helped spearhead Rowan’s Clothesline Project.
“’PROFS Go Purple’ is an effort by the Rowan Community to raise awareness for domestic violence, and, in particular, this Clothesline Project through the Women’s Center and Healthy Campus Initiatives partnership, allows people to express their frustrations, or to tell their story, or show support for survivors and victims of domestic violence by writing a message on a shirt in order to showcase how people feel and how they heal,” Murphy said.
Rowan University shows support to victims of mental trauma by providing various resources to students in dire need of help. The Health and Wellness Center, located at Winans Hall, offers a program called Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) for students who no longer wish to suffer in silence. In addition, RU a Lifesaver? provides crisis counseling for anyone suffering from depression, substance abuse, severe stress, anxiety, etc.
If you or someone you know is a target of domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
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