Abby’s House is a resource center here on campus that focuses on helping students, faculty and the community with any sort of mental, social or family related problem. Every year they put on an event that focuses on all the domestic abuse, that goes unnoticed in our country and the night time between 6pm and 8am is where most of the violence happens. This is why it is called take back the night.
The event started out with an introduction by the Abby’s House coordinator, Mary Ellen Dello Stritto giving an overview of the event, the mission of the event and Abby’s House. Then there was a speaker from the Linn County resource center CARDV who had a lot of interesting facts and resources her center provided. She mentioned a 24/7 Hotline for any help that people might need. CARDVA also has a good team of law experts that can help you fill out the paper work in court for a lot of things, including restraining order.
Next were the Green Dot speakers Carli and Jess, who showed a positive way in staying safe and smart when going out to social events. They showed a short informational video that really helped motivate people in terms of making the right decisions and staying positive. They really emphasized their 3D’s rule, Direct, Distract, Delegate. This means you see someone spiking a drink with something you don’t know so you should knock it over and pretend to be clumsy, looking silly but actually helping out a friend or acquaintance.
After Carli and Jess presented there was a time for reflections and people to tell their stories and how they were affected by domestic violence. This was a very emotional part, with some people really needing to talk to counselors that were there and getting that help they needed. By the time that part was over a lot of people felt really down. So Dr. Dello Stritto lead a mini talk mentioning some encouraging words to survivors.
The last part of the night was the Walk. 50+ People showed up for the walk to take back the night, everyone carried candles that they carried throughout campus, as well as signs with empowering sayings. On the walk people shouted chants that got people around campus to notice, People asked what it was for and seemed really interested.
After the walk was a resolution circle that got people thinking about the facts about domestic abuse and how it really destroys peoples lives. People volunteered to read anonymous notes other people wrote in regards to domestic violence and its effect on people’s lives.
Overall, it was a really good event. Things like this seem like it doesn’t happen that much and that is only because it is not easy to talk about and is not always reported, hearing the words of the survivors of those events really makes you want to do something and going to that event really helps bring awareness to these issues. Because if no one says anything, nothing will be done to stop it.
By Kevin Gutierrez