Domestic violence is growing in America. Nearly 15 percent of U.S. adults have admitted to being victims of domestic violence. Among U.S. adults, 40 percent have said they experienced abuse in the form of name-calling, pushing, hitting, choking, public humiliation, being kept from friends or family, or forced sexual activity.
During the month of October, Weber State University will be promoting Domestic Violence Awareness Month. There will be guest speakers, a Stop the Hate booth and donation boxes around campus all throughout the month.
Stop the Hate is a national campaign operated by Campus Pride. Stop the Hate supports colleges and universities in preventing and combating hate on campuses and in communities.
“I have been involved in domestic violence prevention for nearly 10-plus years,” said Adrienne Gillespie, coordinator for Center of Diversity and Unity at WSU. “I don’t think anyone deserves to be hurt. Everyone deserves respect.”
Every Monday throughout the month of October, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be a Stop the Hate booth set up in the Shepherd Union Building. The booth will provide information and resources about domestic violence and abuse, as well as a donation box. The booth will be accepting donations of toiletries, feminine products, food, phones, anything someone might need after leaving an abusive relationship.
Delta Chi Nu, the sorority at WSU, is helping with the donations as well. It has teamed up with the Women’s Center, and the members are each taking bags to fill up with donations. The Greeks on campus do something every year to help with Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“I wanted to help,” said Hilary Robertson, Delta Chi Nu member and WSU junior. “I volunteered to get a bag. I want to help women trying to cope with the situation and give things some women don’t have the luxury of having, like feminine products and phones.”
Kelsey Capoferri is the Stop the Hate chair at the Center for Diversity and Unity. She will be at the booth giving information to those who would like more information. She is partnered with Your Community Connection and the Women’s Center, which will also have donation boxes set up.
There will also be a few guest speakers coming to WSU throughout the month. On Monday, Oct. 22, Hildegard Koenig from the Utah Domestic Violence Council will be speaking at Stop the Hate.
“Hildegard will be speaking on things you wouldn’t expect to hear during a domestic violence presentation,” Capoferri said. “She will be at the Center for Diversity.”
On Monday, Oct. 29, Mindy Camberlin, diversity vice president at WSU, will be talking about her experience with domestic violence during Stop the Hate.
“It is important to (make) aware people of domestic violence,” Capoferri said. “There are a lot of people who are not aware they are in an abusive relationship. They need help getting out.”
Capoferri also said it is not just women who are in abusive relationships; men and children also need help and need to speak out. Domestic Violence Awareness Month aims to help people in that situation and the family and friends of those in violent relationships.