October 8, 2007

Kate Elliot
Communications Specialist

VSU 'Airs Society's Dirty Laundry' During Domestic ViolenceAwareness Month

More than 300 T-shirts will be displayed on Valdosta State University’s front lawn Tuesday, October 9, to Friday, October 12, in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. VSU students and members of the Valdosta community who have been affected by domestic violence decorated the shirts to reflect their personal tragedies.

The Women’s and Gender Studies Program organized the Clothesline Project to draw attention to the prevalence and severity of domestic violence. The display also enables area survivors to heal and gain empowerment by sharing their experiences.

“The concept is simple - let each woman tell her own story, in her own unique way, and hang it out for all to see. It is a way of airing society’s dirty laundry,” said Dr. Tracy Woodard Meyers, director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at VSU.

According to a 2000 National Violence Against Women Survey, 1.3 million women and nearly 900,000 men are physically assaulted by a partner each year in the United States. A U.S. Department of Justice survey reported that one in four women and nearly 8 percent of men were raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting or dating partner at some time during their lifetime.

“We want people to walk through the shirts and be empowered to break the silence that fuels domestic violence,” Woodard Meyers said. “We also want people to realize that violence against women is not a ‘women’s issue.’ It [domestic violence] is a societal problem that needs the support of both genders if any progress is to be made.”

The decorated T-shirts will be strung near West Hall between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday.

The Women’s and Gender Studies Program is sponsoring additional domestic violence awareness events and programs throughout October. For more information about awareness opportunities, check out the below list or visit the Women’s and Gender Studies Program Web site at www.valdosta.edu/womenstudies/ .

"Women & Girls in Georgia" Conference Focuses on Violence Against Women

The Institute for Women's Studies at the University of Georgia presents the first “Women and Girls in Georgia” conference. The conference theme is "Women and Violence," and will include formal and informal presentations of cutting-edge data and analyses as well as opportunities for networking and political strategizing. For more information about the conference, which is open to the public, go to the Women’s and Girls in Georgia Conference at www.uga.edu/iws/events/WAGG .

October 12-14
Georgia Center for Continuing Education
University of Georgia
Athens, Ga.

"Rock Against Violence 2007"

Killtacular Productions is hosting a benefit concert featuring local bands to raise awareness about domestic violence and rape. Tickets, which will be sold at the door beginning at 8 p.m., are $3 with a valid VSU student I.D. and $5 for the public. All proceeds from the event go to VSU's Women's and Gender Studies Sexual Assault Prevention Program.

"Rock Against Violence 2007" Benefit Concert
Thursday, October 18 at 8 p.m.
Vito's Pizzeria and Lounge
500 N. Ashley St., Valdosta, Ga.

The Handprint Project

The handprint project is a way for men to join the dialogue about violence against women and to pledge not to commit or condone violence by placing their handprint and name on display boards. Various campus groups will set up boards across campus Thursday, October 25, for men to imprint their hands and sign a pledge against domestic violence.

"A Safe Date is a Great Date Tailgate"

Come enjoy free food, refreshments and games prior to the VSU homecoming game. The Women’s and Gender Studies Program will be passing out information about preventing domestic violence and sexual assault.

Saturday, October 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Bazemore-Hyder Stadium parking lot
Valdosta State University

Purple Ribbon Campaign

Across the country, families and friends of victims of domestic violence have adopted the purple ribbon to honor loved ones who have lost their lives at the hands of someone they loved and trusted. The display of purple ribbons conveys a powerful message that there is no place for domestic violence in homes, neighborhoods, schools, or workplaces in our community. Some sources say the purple ribbon is a unifying symbol of courage, survival, honor and dedication to ending domestic violence. Pick up a purple ribbon at the Women’s and Gender Studies Program office in Carswell hall, 1526 N. Oak St. The program will also have purple ribbons on hand at all of the domestic violence awareness events listed above.

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