The Voices Against Violence program at The University of Texas at Austin is uniting students in a proactive stance against dating violence during Domestic Violence Awareness Month through a series of public events in October.
The events are designed to generate dialogue about domestic and dating violence issues while educating the campus and Austin communities on how to recognize and stop interpersonal violence, said Jane Bost, associate director of the university's Counseling and Mental Health Center, which oversees the Voices Against Violence program. She said Voices Against Violence addresses issues of relationship violence, sexual violence and stalking within the university community by offering education, training, advocacy, counseling and referral services.
The events include:
- Domestic Violence Awareness Month Kick-Off Rally on the West Mall, Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Kick-Off Rally will include speakers, stories and the Polaroid Project, which invites students to be photographed for a mosaic display alongside suggestions they provide about how to end dating violence.
- Silent Witness Day on the West Mall,Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Two thousand flowers will be distributed with attached stories about young women who died due to domestic violence in Texas during 2008. The purpose is to raise awareness of the prevalence of the issue in the college-age population. Bost said 75 percent of 16-to-24-year-old Texans either have personally experienced dating violence or know someone who has experienced such violence.
- Public Performance in University Teaching Center 4.110, Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Students for Equity and Diversity sponsor an interactive theatre for dialogue performance about issues of identity, difference and dating violence.
- "What Would YOU Do?" is addressed during a program at Will C. Hogg Building 1.120, Wednesday, Oct. 21, from 7-10 p.m. The peer theatre performance is about "Relationships and You" involving the audience and focusing on issues of dating violence.
- Hidden Struggles: Disabilities and Interpersonal Violence in the Utopia Theater at the School of Social Work, Tuesday, Oct. 27, from 7-9 p.m. Services for Students with Disabilities, Sigma Phi Omega and Voices Against Violence co-sponsor an interactive, peer theatre performance about the intersection of disabilities and relationship violence.