CAPS speed dating event to raise awareness of domestic violence

Ceylin Arias/Staff Writer

As part of Week of Action, the Counseling and Psychological Services will be hosting their second annual domestic violence speed dating event.

Week of Action will take place from Monday, Oct. 23 through Friday, Oct. 27. The speed dating event will be held on Monday, Oct. 23 at the Green Library breezeway from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

In an effort to raise awareness about domestic violence, Alyssa Delgado, a peer education program assistant for CAPS, said the speed dating event will involve five peer educators and five students at a time taking 10-15 seconds in each chair.

“Students can be expect to be surprised because they’ll be like ‘Speed dating? That’s weird,’” said Delgado. “How we do it is each seat is timed and you have about 10-15 seconds with each peer educator where you’ll get a glimpse into a certain behavior or certain way a person can act in a domestic violence relationship.”

Delgado said the benefits of seeing live recreations of domestic violence signs and participating in the activity will help students see more clearly what certain signs actually mean as most people are commonly unaware of dangerous behaviors.

The intention of the activity will be to demonstrate what domestic violence is and what it entails, though physical violence will not be part of the demonstrations because it may trigger certain people, especially those that have gone through it personally, said Delgado.

The scare tactic is a commonly used strategy used by the abuser, but is a sign that may not easily be picked up on and shrugged off by the person being abused because they may attribute it as being part of the heat of the moment, according to Delgado.

The abuser’s reaction is, however, a clear sign of what they could potentially do if they were to get angrier.

“Let’s say you’re arguing with the person and it’s getting really loud and no one has hit anyone yet, but suddenly one person gets angry enough that they get the nearest thing like a stapler and they throw it…the intent is still there,” said Delgado.

Domestic violence is very much prevalent in the college population even if students do not realize it, said Delgado.

“We tend to rush into relationships to avoid the whole persona of being single that the hispanic culture, for example, and/or social media stigmatize as being something negative,” according to Delgado.

Contrary to what most people believe, leaving a domestic violence relationship is not easy, according to Delgado. There are many factors that come into place. For example, the victim being abused may have children with the abuser or the victim may be financially dependent on the abuser, especially LGBT individuals. A lot of the times these individuals will stay with their abuser for fear that the abuser will come out to the partner’s family, said Delgado.

Third persons that witness or know about a domestic violence relationship should report such instances because then police can intervene and help, according to Delgado.

The “It’s On Us” national campaign, which was started by former U.S. President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden to stop sexual assaults on college campuses, will also be reinforced during Week of Action. During the event, CAPS will be providing general information about sexual assault and how it takes place in domestic violence relationships.

Daisy Canizales, a senior English major and victim of sexual assault, is hopeful that spreading more awareness about domestic violence will diminish the negative stigmatization rape victims receive from their own community.

“It was really hard for me to get over what I went through because even within my own family I could feel and hear what my family members thought of me,” said Canizales. “That’s really damaging for anyone, but you learn the opposite is true, not as quickly as you would like, but through years and years of acceptance, you finally know within yourself that it wasn’t your fault.”


Featured Image by Nicole Malanga/PantherNOW

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