BY JAYA MONTAGUE
October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA) hosted a panel on the issue Tuesday, Oct. 24 in Gladfelter Hall 107.
Panelists were Richie Schulz, a community educator for the Lutheran Settlement House, Brenda Gorski, the Domestic Violence Program Coordinator for the Nationalities Service Center, Leah Dirske, an Education Specialist from Women Organized Against Rape, and Tony Lapp, the Co-Director of Menergy.
The discussion addressed how abusers turn to violence to establish control and fear over their partner.
Another issue talked about are the effects of intimate partner abuse on undocumented immigrants.
Gorski specifically spoke to how abusers use the threat of calling Immigration Customs Enforcement to have their partners submit to what they want.
Cultural differences also make it harder for victims to come forward because they do not believe they are being abused.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that 20 people are harmed every minute by a partner and that women between 18-24 are most likely to be victims of abuse in the United States.
Ashlei Washington, a psychology, and African-American Studies major expressed happiness over the increase of conversations on domestic violence in recent years.
“Instead of addressing it, people would rather ignore that it’s happening and that’s not helping… in order to make progress… we can have these conversations,” Washington said.
According to Abuseintervention.org, warning signs for an abusive relationship include a partner trying to limit the time that their partner spends with others and forcing a partner to have sex.
Emily Knight, a chemistry with teaching major believes that there should be more spaces for survivors of abuse to tell their stories.
“I think that it’s good that men and women are coming out… it’s a good thing to know because it’s something that people want to hide,” Knight said.