At a Domestic Violence forum at the University of Rhode Island last night, Director for Violence Prevention and Advocacy Services Jennifer Longa Moio asked more than 50 students if they knew someone who has been affected by domestic violence. Nearly everyone raised their hand.
In honor of domestic violence month, the student group Ohuru SaSa hosted a forum in the Memorial Union to spread awareness about the effects of domestic violence and to inform students on what to do when they or a friend are affected.
Josue Garcia, a senior peer advocate who helped present the forum, told students that his past experiences with domestic violence led him to become involved in spreading awareness on campus and pursue peer advocacy.
Longa Moio, with her refreshingly honest demeanor, told students in the beginning of the presentation that “anything goes,” a philosophy she maintained throughout the forum.
For example, while explaining to students the timeline on which domestic violence usually occurs, she used a hypothetical situation where a woman punches a man in the face at the end of a first date.
“That’s not domestic violence,” she said. “That’s a psycho chick.”
However, while explaining the tough and emotional subject in a light-hearted manner, she also emphasized the gravity of domestic violence.
She told students 25 percent of women are victims of domestic violence in their lifetime, but less than 3 percent of cases are reported to the authorities. She explained that domestic abuse happens in a cyclic pattern, therefore making it difficult for the victim to leave the situation.
Read the article, by Farah Casalini, in its entirety here.