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Counseling Center hosts events in observance of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, beginning Oct. 19

Oct. 15, 2009 -- The Arkansas State University Counseling Center will be hosting several events in observance of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in an effort to increase understanding of the impact of violent crime against women. The Silent Witness project will be on display Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 19-20, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. near the Natural State Lounge in ASU’s Reng Student Services Center/Student Union, 101 N. Caraway Road, Jonesboro. A Domestic Violence candlelight vigil will be held Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Courtyard near the Chi Omega Fountain on Aggie Road, directly west of the Student Union. The public is encouraged to join the campus community and participate in the educational awareness programs.

The Silent Witness Project was created in 1995 and consists of life-sized plywood cutouts painted red and black. Each cutout represents a female victim murdered by an intimate partner within a given year. Each cutout tells the victim's story on a shield attached to the cutout. Twenty-four Arkansas women were confirmed as murdered due to domestic violence in 2008, the most recent year statistics are available.

Domestic violence awareness information and interactive activities will be available for students and the public from 10:00 am-2:00 pm. near the Natural State Lounge, and counselors will be available to answer questions. Students will be invited to participate in “These Hands Are Not for Hurting.”

The Silent Witness Project is provided by the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ACADV). The ACADV is a nonprofit organization that has served both rural and urban areas of Arkansas since its inception in 1981.The membership consists of domestic violence service providers and others who demonstrate support for the philosophy, goals and objectives of the ACADV.

The Domestic Violence candlelight vigil is an annual event that honors survivors of domestic violence and raises awareness of domestic violence in the community. Domestic violence survivor Michelle Campbell and students from Circle of Trust will address attendees prior to the vigil.

President Barack Obama, in his proclamation naming October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, said, “Domestic violence touches the lives of Americans of all ages, leaving a devastating impact on women, men, and children of every background and circumstance. A family's home becomes a place of fear, hopelessness, and desperation when a woman is battered by her partner, a child witnesses the abuse of a loved one, or a senior is victimized by family members. Since the 1994 passage of the landmark Violence Against Women Act, championed by then-Senator Joe Biden, our nation has strengthened its response to this crime and increased services for victims. Still, far too many women and families in this country and around the world are affected by domestic violence. During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we recommit ourselves to ending violence within our homes, our communities, and our country.”

For additional information, please contact Phil Hestand, Ph.D. (, director of the ASU Counseling Center, at (870) 972-2318.




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