Photo and story by Davida Johnson / Contributing Writer
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and MTSU’s Alpha Chi Omega sorority lined up a week full of events to spread awareness for the issue. According to The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 40 percent of women and 32.5 percent of men in Tennessee experience physical violence from intimate partners.
“Alpha Chi Omega’s philanthropy is domestic violence awareness and promoting healthy relationships,” said Parisa Shahosseini, the vice president of philanthropy for Alpha Chi Omega. “For our organization, it means promoting that on campus and for the MTSU community, so we have a plethora of events that we host to inform people of domestic violence awareness.”
They started the week on Monday, Oct. 22, with a give back night at Blaze Pizza in Murfreesboro. 20 percent of the proceeds were given to a local domestic violence shelter. On Tuesday, members of the sorority brought their puppies from home to host their own puppy photo booth in the Student Union atrium. Students paid a dollar for a picture with any puppy of their choice and raised a total of $300. The proceeds from this event were donated to the shelter as well.
Later that night they organized a panhellenic self-defense class at their sorority house on Greek Row. Three men from Guardian MMA showed the class step by step what to do if they were ever in a situation where they needed to defend themselves. On Wednesday, they held a candlelight vigil for domestic violence victims on the library quad at MTSU. They had speakers who were students at the school that have been victims of domestic violence and wanted to share their stories to prove that it could happen to anyone.
“I believe that domestic violence is prominent in the MTSU community,” said Christian Nevils, a senior at MTSU who spoke at the vigil. “I believe that it is not really spoken of, and that is why you don’t get the statistics that you need because a lot of people don’t speak on what goes on.”
According to 2017 statistics from tn.gov, one in three women and one in four men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. In 2017, 77,846 domestic violence crimes were reported to Tennessee law enforcement. Alpha Chi Omega also had a tabling set up Monday through Thursday in the Student Union Commons collecting donations including body wash, lotion, deodorant, pampers, feminine needs and any cleaning products for the domestic violence shelter.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, do not hesitate to seek help. MTSU offers resources for victims of domestic and sexual violence here.
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