Polk County Itemizer-Observer
By Emily Mentzer
February 18th, 2014
MONMOUTH — Students at Western Oregon University spent the holiday of love standing up against violence of all kinds.
Abby’s House advocates organized an event to raise awareness and rise against violence in conjunction with the worldwide V Day events.
“We’re going to sing out, dance, make noise, and also give voice to survivors of violence,” said Andrea Hugmeyer, program coordinator for Abby’s House.
Students and staff enjoyed hot chocolate and baked goods at the club’s booth outside the Werner University Center on Friday.
A board with the word “justice” was slowly filled in by pieces of fabric placed by students and staff. Each color represented a different form of justice and equality, with the hopes of ending violence toward that stereotype.
Andrew Cha, a sophomore who hasn’t decided his major yet, chose the color representing sexuality.
“Equal rights are for everyone,” he said.
Adrianne Schneider, a psychology senior, is in her second year of being an Abby’s House advocate.
“I’ve had personal experience going through this stuff, and know a lot of survivors,” she said.
Abby’s House acts as a resource for anyone suffering from violence, Schneider said.
For those in crisis, advocates may encourage someone to see a counselor and accompany him or her to the counseling center, she said.
Other resources include referrals to other organizations.
Although there are no specific statistics for how many people suffer from violence at WOU, Schneider said one in four women will be assaulted before they graduate from college.
“The Vagina Monologues” will be performed at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday in the Pacific Room at the Werner Center, also as part of the V Day events at WOU, sponsored by Abby’s House. Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for non-students.