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Donda:  Raise awareness about dating violence on campus

BY GUEST COLUMN | NOVEMBER 16, 2012 6:30 AM

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Domestic Violence Awareness Month came to a close at the end of October, but continued efforts are still needed to shine light to the issue of dating violence on college campuses.

The Strategic Communication Campaigns class in the School of Journalism has launched its “Hawkeyes Against Dating Violence” campaign, in partnership with the Domestic Violence Intervention Program, to advocate for greater awareness and openness to discuss dating-violence issues.

Our efforts began with joining the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event on Oct. 1, in which college men walked in high heels for the Rape Victim Advocacy Program while spreading awareness about domestic violence issues and promoting a community free from sexual violence. We have also collaborated with the Women’s Resource and Action Center in its annual Spaghetti Dinner on Oct. 18 to promote dating-violence awareness and raise donations for victims throughout Johnson County.

We also blanketed the campus with posters and fliers showing the red flags of dating violence to attract as much attention from college students as possible. On Oct. 30, we attended the Crime Victim’s Assistance Division public meeting and again helped in promoting awareness of current issues with domestic violence in conjunction with speaker Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.

Miller spoke about domestic-violence and sexual-assault services being cut further on July 1, which will diminish both state and federal funding for service providers such as DVIP.

These cuts in funding for helping victims, coupled with the fact that  55 to 95 percent of women victims do not report their abuse, continue to show how the issue is getting worse and not receiving the utmost attention it deserves.

An estimated 1.3 million women nationwide are victims of violence by an intimate partner each year. Women on campus should be especially aware of these facts and the red flags of dating violence because women between the ages of 20 and 24 are at the greatest risk of nonfatal dating violence.

Each red flag has an important fact about dating violence. Students can take one creative photograph with a flag they discover, like our “Hawkeyes Against Dating Violence” Facebook page and upload their picture of themselves with the flag. This will enter them into a competition to win a $50 gift card from Amazon.

This event ends on Nov. 28, so hurry up and find a red flag. The winner will be chosen randomly at the end of the month.

Tom Donda
UI student


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