Forty-three percent of dating college women reported experiencing violent or abusive behaviors from their partner, according to the National Coalition Against Dating Violence. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Center for Advocacy, Response & Education focuses on spreading awareness of domestic violence on campus.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month, and the CARE office is hosting events to help students realize they are not alone if they find themselves involved in a harmful relationship. Jayden John, junior psychology major and CARE ambassador, said it is important to educate students on the signs of possible domestic violence.
“We hope that informing the population of the signs and shedding light on the issue will encourage those who are in or around situations like this to stand up and speak out against it,” John said.
According to John, CARE provides year-round services that include giving domestic violence presentations to recognized student organizations, as well as providing professional advocates to students who have experienced any form of domestic violence. During October, the program holds more events that draw attention to Domestic Violence Awareness month.
“We put flags up on City and East Campus with facts about domestic violence in order to draw attention to the lesser thought about aspects of violence,” John said. “We will also be doing a Halloween-themed table at the end of the month, which will have messages about consent.”
In addition to those events, the program will be hosting music bingo on Oct. 12. This event will focus on song lyrics that have normalized domestic violence.
Malvika Vijju, CARE ambassador and sophomore women and gender studies major, said the event will be a fun way to keep people informed.
“We’re going to play all these different songs which we never realized that the lyrics are so toxic,” Vijju said. “It’s going to be really fun. We are going to have food, drinks and different kinds of prizes.”
Both ambassadors said they hope it will get students to think more about current and future relationships. According to the ambassadors, song lyrics often portray unhealthy relationships that listeners accept as normal.
“We hope that the event will help students realize the problematic characteristics of the relationships that musicians sing or rap about,” John said. “While we don’t ask you to stop consuming music, we do ask that you don’t use these artists’ relationships as inspiration for yours, especially when they promote mistreatment of your partner.”
Although Domestic Violence Awareness month is a great time to inform the community, CARE ambassadors want people to know that they are available to help them year-round.
“I hope that students know there are resources out there, and you do not have to stay in a toxic environment,” John said. “I know ambassadors would be happy and willing to talk to you about how to get in touch with our office.”
CARE advocates are available to talk Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Calling (402) 472-3553 will connect you to help at any time.