Couple and Family Therapy Department Breaks Silence with Domestic Violence Rally
December 2, 2013 —
by John Taylor, Adjunct Professor, Couple and Family Therapy Department
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women, sending over 1 million every year to doctors’ offices or Emergency Rooms. This is a staggering number, and this violence isn’t occurring from the hands of a stranger but by the hands of the man that has said I love you.
It’s for this reason that on October 30, I, along with students, faculty, staff and the Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority, Inc and Fraternity & Sorority Life held a domestic violence rally to bring awareness to the epidemic of domestic violence and to remember those victims that have lost their lives. The rally took place in front of the Mario the Dragon statue, a location I selected because it’s the central hub of the University.
This was the first domestic violence rally held by the Couple and Family Therapy Department, and approximately 50 people attended. There were numerous speakers on the agenda: Dr. Stephanie Brooks, Department Chair; Dr. Argie Allen, Clinical Director; Dr. Ruth, Dean of Students; Tye Belton, student; Dr. Bertie, domestic violence agency director; Jasmine Jang, Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority; Elizabeth Kwong, Sigma Psi Zeta; Andres Water, student; Jessica Cody, student/survivor of an abusive relationship; and myself. The speakers challenged the participants to mobilize and speak out about the impact that domestic violence has on the women, men and children in our communities.
We know that domestic violence is when a partner physically, emotionally and sexually abuses their intimate partner by exerting power and control over them. Domestic Violence occurs in all cultures, races, religions, classes and relationships. We find that domestic violence is perpetrated by men and women; 95% of reported Domestic Violence cases are men abusing women and 5% or reported domestic violence cases are women abusing men. Every 12 seconds in the U.S., a woman is abused by her intimate partner, There are more shelters for animals in our country than there are for battered women.
Domestic violence can be described by the three-phase Cycle of Violence. Phase One is the “Tension Building Phase,” and in Phase Two, an incident occurs (push, slap, punch, stab, etc.) During Phase Three, also known as the “Honeymoon,” the violent partner attempts to make up, apologize, or buys gifts. This cycle will not end until one partner decides to leave or get help.
My hope is that this rally will be a recurring annual event at the University to bring awareness to Domestic Violence and the destruction it causes. It’s important that we no longer be silent about domestic violence because silence equals permission. Let’s make some noise and say, “There is no excuse for domestic violence.”
Read my complete article on domestic violence, Behind the Veil, Inside the Mind of Men That Abuse.