October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the Women’s Resource Center at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) has planned a number of activities and workshops to bring attention to this national and citywide problem.
As recently as 2013, the New York City Police Department responded to more than 284,000 domestic violence calls. Nationwide, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner, according to statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. One in three women and one in four men have been victims of physical violence by an intimate partner.
Among the planned BMCC activities is the “Walk With Me” procession on October 17 at 12 p.m., starting in Richard Harris Terrace at the College's main campus. This annual event is a college-wide gathering followed by a silent procession throughout the campus. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to wear purple. The gathering will be preceded by a 10 a.m. workshop focused on the intersection between immigration status and domestic violence.
In preparation for the procession, on October 12 at 2 p.m., there will be a poster making session where students and student club and academic department representatives will be able to create their own “stop the violence” poster board messages. In addition to the procession, there will be a number of other workshops and activities scattered throughout the month where students can not only learn available resources, but also earn Co-Curricular Transcript (CCA) credit.
BMCC Women’s Resource Director Deborah Parker says one of the goals of all the activities is to help students become agents of change.
“Change occurs one person at a time. We inform students that there is help and resources available to them here on campus," Parker said. "They then become a vessel of knowledge for other students and those beyond the BMCC campus."
Domestic violence impacts everyone, Parker says. “There is no magic wand to eliminate it, but we can’t sweep the problem under the rug. Knowing that there is help out there, that there is hope, is very important.”