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HUNTSVILLE, October 9, 2013— To raise awareness about domestic violence, the Crime Victims’ Institute and the Crime Victim Services Alliance will host three events in October, including “The Clothesline Project,” a screening and panel discussion on “Telling Amy’s Story,” and a lecture from a leader in a domestic violence agency in Texas.
Domestic violence affects one out of every three women, with an estimated 54 million victims annually in the United States. Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior which may include physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats that are designed to frighten, intimidate, isolate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.
“Nationally, 53 percent of Americans know a victim of domestic violence, yet only 15 percent think it’s a problem amongst their friends,” said Leana Bouffard, CVI director. “Domestic violence is an epidemic that impacts people in our communities every day. It’s important for all of us to be aware of the magnitude of this crime, have discussions about it, and support victims.
“The events for Domestic Violence Awareness Month at SHSU are designed to increase knowledge on the topic and gain understanding on how to support victims,” she said.
The events will kick off Oct. 14-18 when “The Clothesline Project” will invite students to decorate T-shirts to honor the victims of domestic violence in Texas. In 2012, more than 100 people were killed in the state as the result of domestic violence.
A booth will be set up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area, and participants will be given the name of a domestic violence victim, along with a brief description of the individual, from which they will draw inspiration to decorate their shirt.
All T-shirts will be displayed outside the LSC beginning on Oct. 21 as a visual memorial to the victims of domestic violence.
On Oct. 21, the CVI and CVSA will host a screening of “Telling Amy’s Story,” a documentary that chronicles the case of a Pennsylvania woman who was shot to death by her husband after years of abuse, at 6 p.m. in the LSC Theater.
The film will be followed by a panel discussion with Eddy Lawson, of the Walker County Sheriff’s Department; Lisa DuPaul, of the Huntsville Police Department; Kathy Latz, of the College of Criminal Justice; and a SAAFE House advocate, who will discuss ways to prevent similar tragedies closer to home.
“Telling Amy’s Story” provides a timeline of the last weeks, months and years of Amy Homan McGee’s life, offering lessons learned in the case that can be used to prevent similar tragedies.
The public service media project, produced by the Penn State Public Broadcasting, was hosted by Mariska Hargitay of “Law and Order: SVU” and told by Det. Deirdri Fishel of the State College Police Department in Pennsylvania.
Finally, on Oct. 30, the CVI will debut the Voices Lecture Series, which will explore victimization issues and victim service agencies, at 2 p.m., in the Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom.
The inaugural speaker will be Barbie Brashear, executive director of the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, who will discuss collaborative efforts in Harris County to reduce and prevent domestic violence, including education and outreach; an adult violent death review team to identify future prevention methods; and community safety assessments.
The Crime Victims’ Institute is a research center at Sam Houston State University that studies the impact of crime on victims, their relatives, and society and evaluates the effectiveness of criminal justice and juvenile justice policies to prevent victimization.
The Crime Victim Services Alliance is a student organization dedicated to advancing knowledge and awareness of victim services for those interested in the criminal justice system, crime victim rights, and crime victim services.
Article by Beth Kuhles
© 2018 Tomlinson-Leis Communications L.P.