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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October 1, 2020

Domestic violence affects both women and men, of every race, religion, socio-economic status, culture and sexual identity. And it happens right here, right now, in communities and college campuses throughout the world.

Let’s do something about it.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a month-long opportunity to raise awareness and give voice to a subject that is often masked in silence.

“Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a time to support the survivors and let everyone know that we do not support any abusive behavior,” said Allison Hurlburt, prevention program coordinator, NIU Office of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

During October, NIU is partnering with Safe Passage, a domestic violence agency and rape crisis center in DeKalb that provides free and confidential support for survivors and their loved ones. Two virtual workshops will be held to discuss domestic violence thanks to a campus grant received from the Office on Violence Against Women.

“It’s an important chance for us to speak openly and honestly about what abuse is, how it happens, and how we can end it,” said Lynnea Laskowski, of Safe Passage. “We all have the opportunity to make the world a safer place by speaking up against violence and speaking up for survivors.”

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors that are used to control a partner in a relationship. Each year, more than 10 million people experience some sort of domestic violence behavior, whether it be physical, emotional, verbal or sexual in nature.

“Unfortunately, rates of domestic violence are incredibly high,” Laskowski said. “I can almost guarantee that every one of us knows someone who has been abused, even if we don’t realize it.”

Laskowski said education is key, and it’s important to talk about domestic violence and the resources and support available.  In fact, a key messaging throughout the grant is to prevent violence and to provide survivors with the resources and support they need.

“We can end abuse by ending the stigma and silence around abuse,” Laskowski said. “If you have been hurt by a partner or loved one, you are not alone and it is not your fault. You deserve support as you heal, and you are not alone.

Visit NIU’s Sexual Misconduct Response and Prevention for additional resources.

Events occurring during Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness month. Please join us for these virtual events throughout the month.

Behind the Post: Relationships Don’t Just Live on Social Media
Tuesday, Oct. 6, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

During this virtual workshop participants will learn about the impact technology and social media can have on relationships and how it can be used to control a partner or disguise an unhealthy relationship. We will examine the warning signs of unhealthy or abusive relationships and learn tools that can be used to safely intervene if unhealthy behaviors are exhibited by a friend or in a friend’s relationship.

This workshop will contain discussion of dating and domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. A resource and support guide will be provided upon registration for the workshop.

Love Labyrinth: Navigating Relationships
Wednesday, Oct. 21, 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.

This virtual workshop will help participants understand the signs of emotional abuse and the controlling and threatening behavior patterns that show up in everyday situations. We’ll provide a framework for people to talk about healthy and unhealthy behaviors, what healthy relationships look like and how we can practice healthy behaviors in our own lives.

This workshop will contain discussion of dating and domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. A resource and support guide will be given upon registration for the workshop.

National Purple Thursday
Thursday, Oct. 22

Join Huskies and the nation by wearing purple clothing on Oct. 22 to support those affected by domestic violence. Take a selfie and send it to [email protected] so they can share the support with the NIU community.