WKU Counseling Center hosts Domestic Violence Awareness Month kickoff

Cutouts+with+names+and+experiences+of+victims+of+domestic+abuse+were+placed+in+Centennial+Mall+on+WKU%E2%80%99s+campus+for+a+Domestic+Violence+Awareness+event+on+Oct.+5%2C+2021.+There+were+also+tables+with+information+and+prizes+people+at+the+event+could+go+to.

Allie Hendricks

Cutouts with names and experiences of victims of domestic abuse were placed in Centennial Mall on WKU’s campus for a Domestic Violence Awareness event on Oct. 5, 2021. There were also tables with information and prizes people at the event could go to.

Alexandria Anderson, News reporter

The WKU Counseling Center and other WKU departments held a Domestic Violence Awareness Month kickoff event in the DSU courtyard on Tuesday, Oct. 5.

Representatives from the Student Government Association, the Health Education and Promotion Center, WKU Office of Student Conduct, the WKU Police Department and BRASS, Inc. Domestic Violence Victim Advocacy Services had tables at the event.

“We want to show out our support for the event,” Kat Howard, a junior biology major and member of the SGA mental health committee said. “We have personal alarms and buttons, which say ‘shatter the silence’, in support of victims of domestic violence.”

Elizabeth Madariaga, the sexual assault services coordinator in the counseling center, explained the purpose of this event and what it means for college campuses.

“We’re doing this kickoff event to increase awareness of domestic violence,” Madariaga said. “People have this perception, they usually think it’s just something between a husband and wife but it’s more than that, it can happen within any intimate relationship. We need to let college students know that this could happen to them as well.”

The event also had a display from the Silent Witness Initiative, which featured cutout standees of women in Kentucky killed by domestic violence. Each standee had the woman’s name, age, county and a summary of their story.

“Who can be a better witness than the victims themselves,” Madariaga said. “Each one represents a woman in Kentucky killed by domestic violence. We want to remember their stories and remember their names. They are very relevant to getting laws changed, for example with the VINE program which notifies victims when their perpetrators are out of prison.”

People have this perception, they usually think it’s just something between a husband and wife but it’s more than that, it can happen within any intimate relationship. We need to let college students know that this could happen to them as well.”

— Elizabeth Madariaga

The counseling center partnered with various other departments and initiatives in Bowling Green to host this event, including members of BRASS, Inc.

“We’re sharing some stories of past victims who suffered the worst of domestic violence,” Zach Sowers, a senior social work major and housing advocate for BRASS said. “We want to do our best to raise awareness about the severity of domestic violence and that it happens everyday. We want to make sure everyone is informed.”

News reporter Alexandria Anderson can be reached at [email protected]