Women’s center to host vigil for domestic violence

Ashanka Kumari

On average, four people die every day in the U.S. as a result of dating and domestic violence. Over 30 deaths were reported in Alabama last year alone, according to a press release. One in three college women will be a victim of dating and domestic violence.

There were 26,051 domestic assaults in Alabama in 2005, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. To help raise awareness of these issues, the University of Alabama Women’s Resource Center is sponsoring a month-long awareness ribbon campaign and is hosting its annual candlelight vigil on Oct. 18 at 6:30 p.m. to remember those lost last year in the state as a result of dating and domestic violence, according to a press release.

“The best way for students to spread [Dating and] Domestic Violence Awareness around their community is by encouraging their peers to wear purple, wear a purple ribbon and also attend the candlelight vigil,” said Robert Rolfe, executive vice president of the Interfraternity Council.

“The candlelight vigil will remember the 34 people who died in Alabama last year as a result of dating and domestic violence,” said Brad C. Lee, peer education and programs coordinator for the Women’s Resource Center.

The Interfraternity Council is encouraging new fraternity members to wear purple shirts around campus to support the awareness, Rolfe said.

“The WRC will be dropping off boxes of purple ribbons at each fraternity house so that each fraternity member can wear them around campus during the month of October,” Rolfe said. “IFC is here to promote the serious problem we continue to have with Domestic Violence towards women around the country.”

HopeLine, a service from Verizon, and the National Network to End Domestic Violence have teamed up for a cross-country listening tour to collect and share the stories of people affected by domestic violence, according to the organization’s website.

“HopeLine from Verizon puts the nation’s most reliable network to work in the community by turning no-longer used cell phones into support for victims of domestic violence and helps protect the environment by disposing of wireless phones in an environmentally sound way,” the organization’s website said.

Students can drop off used cellular phones – working and not working – and accessories at the Women’s Resource Center, Dean of Students Office in 230 Ferguson, Rose Towers Desk, Tutwiler Hall Desk and the Burke Hall Desk.

At the University of Alabama, the WRC serves a two-fold purpose, according to a press release.

“First, we are the main interpersonal crisis response center for the greater campus community which includes a myriad of advocacy services as well as counseling and extended period support services,” Lee said in the press release. “Secondly, we work and produce several campus events each month to raise awareness about issues affecting women, including heritage months and awareness months.”

To help spread awareness, the WRC has created a desktop wallpaper campaign in collaboration with Rae Marshall Artistic Photography, Lee said.

“Community members can visit wrc.ua.edu to download one of the images and make it their desktop wallpaper throughout the month,” Lee said.