October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Vermillion community and students gave their input on how victims can stay safe and utilize resources around the community.
With various resources at student services and in the community, students and activists hope victims of domestic violence seek the support they need.
Bridget Diamond-Welch, assistant professor of political science and director of ICARE, said Title IX is in place for students on campus.
“Title IX protects student involvement on campus from sex discrimination. Domestic violence (or dating violence) may rise to the level of Title IX complaint depending on what is occurring within the relationship,” Diamond-Welch said. “For example, many domestic violence cases include sexual assault and sexual harassment which are covered by Title IX.”
Diamond-Welch said students can also reach out to and seek support from the Domestic Violence Safe Option Services.
“The advocates there can help survivors navigate their options, do safety planning, and help them file for an order of protection (or restraining order).” Diamond-Welch said. “They can help them find shelter if this is needed. Our local police can also help if there are charges to be made. If I was a survivor, my first call would likely be to DV SOS. They can just help you understand what all your options are.”
Diamond-Welch said that ICARE does not cover dating violence at the moment but hopes to in the future.
“It is specific to sexual assault. Sexual assault may be part of a dating violence situation, but it may not be,” Diamond-Welch said. “We hope, in the future, that ICARE will extend into other components of healthy relationships. It is worth noting, however, that many of the same resources available to students for sexual assault would be the same resources you would tap if you were in a dating violence situation.”
Alyssa Fothergill, senior general studies major and president of Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment (PAVE), said the organization is not having an event this month but she encourages victims to speak to the group as a resource.
“PAVE always has sexual assault resources provided for members and anyone that reaches out for them,” Fothergill said. “Most of these resources will be just as beneficial for anyone experiencing domestic violence, especially our on-campus counseling centers, and UPD and VPD.”
Fothergill said domestic violence survivors should speak out on their own terms.
“In my experience as a counselor, some red flags of an abusive relationship include a partner that intimidates, isolates, threatens and blames their significant other,” Turner said. “Physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse are also red flags.”
- Individual counseling
- Crisis intervention
- Education and prevention services
To schedule an appointment call 605-677-5777 or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).