October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and on Tuesday, October 11th, College of the Canyons hosted the first part of its annual domestic violence awareness event in the honor grove of the Valencia campus.
COC’s Womens Studies professor Connie Trip explained the value in having a an on-campus event.
“It’s such a vicious cycle that go’s on, even amongst our students, they need to recognize that help is out there for them and what they can do to get help,” she said.
According to the CDC and the National Institute of Justice, one in four women in the US will be victims of domestic violence during their lifetime. In addition, approximately 30% of women murdered annually, on average, are victims of their intimate partner.
Returning for this year’s event was the “EveryBODY is beautiful” student fashion show presented COC’s Student Nutrition & Wellness Center (SNAC).
SNAC representative Sheri Barke explains the goal of the pageant.
“A lot of victims of domestic violence whether it’s been emotional, physical or sexual abuse end up with issues of body shame, self esteem issues and maybe even disordered eating and we wanted to use this as an opportunity for students to respect themselves show respect of their body and showcase what real beauty is,” she said.
Appearing for their fourth consecutive year, the event included a performance from the band “Women On The Move,” along with a performance from special guest artist Kelly Zirbes and her band “Kelly’s Lot.”
The “Clothesline Project (CLP) Program,” an organization that encourages attendees to decorate a T-shirt in the name of a victim or survivor of domestic violence, was also present and displayed memorable t-shirts from previous years events.
Domestic violence awareness events will continue at COC throughout the month and into November. On October 19th, COC’s Student Nutrition & Wellness Center will host a 1.5-mile “Positive Student Body Fitness Walk” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Those interested in the fitness walk, and any other domestic violence awareness events, can pick up information in the student center.