Annual walk moves to break silence surrounding domestic violence

Category:  News
Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 at 7:40 PM

Meeting outside on a warm afternoon on Oct. 10, a group of students and staff members did not gather for a typical event.

Starting and ending at the Frank G. Pogue Student Center, seven people walked around the Edinboro University campus as part of a yearly Domestic Violence Awareness Walk.

This event is held by those involved with the Ghering Health and Wellness Center, including the interconnected peer education program and the Student Health and Wellness Advisory Board (SHWAB).

“This walk is not something to be taken lightly. Domestic violence is prevalent within our campus as well as our society today, unfortunately. If there’s any way we can put importance on this topic, we should do so,” Taylor Peyton, co-president of SHWAB, said. 

Darla Elder, director of the Ghering Health and Wellness Center, is proud of their progress in this area and the university’s partnership with other organizations.

Amanda Cox, a medical advocate and outreach specialist for Safe Journey Domestic and Dating Violence Services, which has been working to raise awareness of and prevent domestic violence since 1978, visits Ghering every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cox has been working with Edinboro for the past three years and hopes that both she and the event can help by “making sure students know what services are available to them.”

With October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Maysun Savelli, a peer educator and SHWAB member, wants people to keep in mind that domestic violence is not just physical, but involves both mental and physical abuse as well. One of the main goals for this walk is to “build a sense of unity between people who are here to help,” Savelli said.

In accordance with this month, there will be a town hall event on Oct. 30 in room 107A of Compton Hall at 7 p.m. featuring a panel discussion on domestic violence and psychological abuse. 

Joye Dado, the event coordinator and a nurse practitioner at Ghering, shared that the purpose of this event is to raise awareness. “There’s no one face to domestic violence,” she said, and acknowledged that “you don’t know what somebody is going through.”

Eric Young, a graduate assistant for the Ghering Health and Wellness Center, said that while it is good to have more participation, “any amount of awareness and recognition is good” and that “the more awareness [they] put out, the better it is.”

Additionally, those involved with Ghering are in the process of creating a wellness survey for students and plan to have it sent out within the next two weeks. 

Both Elder and Dado expressed that they want to know the potential questions, concerns and feelings of students and said that there will be an open-ended question upon conclusion.

Following this survey will be a random drawing for a gift card to be used at the campus bookstore. 

Amber Chisholm can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

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