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Hot Topics: Domestic Violence Awareness

By Elena Rosario

On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime (The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey in the 2010 Summary Report).

Domestic violence, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence exist in every community. Domestic violence is sometimes ignored in the public sphere because of the false notion that it is only a private matter. Recently, domestic violence, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence have been all over the media, and are becoming a part of our mainstream conversation. At the Super Bowl in early February, the advocacy group No More aired a domestic violence PSA, which was the first of its kind to air during the major sporting event. A week later, President Barack Obama delivered a domestic violence PSA that urged artists to take part in the movement to end violence and sign a petition online. After he spoke, a domestic violence advocate shared her personal experience. Most recently, the Southern African branch of the Salvation Army posted an image that said, “Why is it so hard to see black and blue? One in 6 women are victims of abuse. #StopAbuseAgainstWomen (SalvationArmySA Twitter account).”

While all this is happening on a national and international scale, we, in our communities need to become more aware and proactive. It is important that each and every one of us knows the warning signs and the resources available so we can be agents of change in our communities. This month Scarritt Bennett Center will host a panel discussion on domestic violence as part of its monthly program Hot Topics. This program will not only address the issue in our communities, but also give us the resources to help those affected by violence and the ways we as individuals and communities can get involved.

Our panelists include, Cara Tuttle Bell, the Director of the Project Safe Center for Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response at Vanderbilt University; Valerie Craig, the Co-Founder and Director of Education for Tennessee Voices for Victims, a non-profit victim advocacy agency; Detective William Fox, a Domestic Violence Detective for Metro Nashville Police Department; and Sarah Martin, Manager of Advocacy & Outreach at the YMCA of Nashville & Middle Tennessee. All of the panelists have expertise on the topic, and I am thrilled that we can facilitate this discussion at Scarritt Bennett Center.

Please join us this Thursday, March 19th from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm to discuss the issue of domestic violence and the strategies that we, as people of a community of justice and compassion, can create and implement to alleviate violence of all kinds. The cost is $6, water and tea are provided, and please feel free to bring your own lunch. To register, please click here.

 Elena profile

Elena Rosario is a 2014 graduate of Connecticut College who majored in History. She is currently a fellow for the Belle H. Bennett House at the Scarritt Bennett Center where she is living in an intentional community and interning at Conexión Américas in Nashville, Tennessee. Elena will be pursuing a doctoral degree in History with a focus on the Atlantic world in the fall 2015. She is both a scholar and social activist.