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ASU reaches out to community for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

two people at a table for Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October 07, 2015

The colors orange and black are commonly associated with the month of October, but this year Arizona State University is encouraging students, staff and faculty to wear purple to highlight Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

One in every five women and one in every seven men have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence reports that there were 109 homicides related to domestic violence last year in Arizona.

ASU has active efforts towards domestic and sexual violence awareness and response.

ASU Wellness offers confidential support and resources for immediate assistance and promotes awareness amongst students and staff. As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the group handed out flyers and purple wristbands, along with the ASU Police Department, during a tabling event Oct. 7 on the Tempe campus.

According to Nicole Franks, ASU media relations specialist, officers in the ASU Police Department will continuously show their support and raise awareness this month by wearing purple lapel pins on their uniforms.

ASU Police also have posted a website about Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which provides details about their commitment to combat domestic violence, resources on campus and legal police contact information.

“We encourage all students, faculty and staff to report incidents of domestic violence and stalking through the proper authorities and seek assistance. People should not have to deal with this alone,” said ASU Police Chief Michael Thompson.

Combating domestic violence on ASU’s campuses is a collaborative effort, and one that does not go unnoticed.  Staff and faculty are required to participate in online training about reporting misconduct and last year 35,000 students participated in an online “Respect and Consent” course.

“Our goal is to protect our students and protect our staff,” said Erin Ellison, director of the Equity and Inclusion Office. Cases involving both students, staff and faculty members are thoroughly investigated.

Domestic violence cases fall under sexual discrimination in the ACD 401 policy in the Academic Affairs Manual. The policy prohibits sexual discrimination, which means actions taken in domestic violence cases on campus are taken very seriously, according to Title IX coordinator Jodi Preudhomme.

Although domestic violence cases are addressed on campus, many people are unaware of the resources available to them. According to Jillian McManus, senior director of Organizational Health and Development, based on the number of university employees and the statistics on domestic violence, many people may be dealing with abuse who are not accessing the resources and support available.

McManus says there is counseling available to students through the ASU Counseling Services and faculty and staff can access counseling through the Employee Assistance Office, which is covered with their health benefits.

Another way ASU is raising awareness across the university this month is through an informational video from the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, which features student athletes talking about domestic violence.

The entire university is also invited to come together for The Clothesline Project, where survivors and their supporters can design t-shirts that will be hung on a clothesline. The clothesline will be on display Nov. 2-3, on Hayden Lawn, on the Tempe campus.

Written by Kanak Jha, ASU Now

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