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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M promotes Domestic Violence Prevention & Awareness Month

Texas+A%26amp%3BM+University+is+promoting+October+as+Domestic+Violence+Prevention+%26amp%3B+Awareness+month+through+events+meant+to+teach+students+how+to+recognize+signs+and+keep+themselves+safe.
Graphic by Corynn Young

Texas A&M University is promoting October as Domestic Violence Prevention & Awareness month through events meant to teach students how to recognize signs and keep themselves safe.

To promote October as Domestic Violence Prevention & Awareness Month, Texas A&M’s Health Promotion Center is teaching students how to keep themselves safe.

Health Promotion Coordinator Denise Crisafi, Ph.D., oversees planning and implementing interpersonal violence prevention education and harm-reduction programming.

“Initiatives with Domestic Violence Prevention and Awareness Month began around the 1980s and have been in place for quite a few decades to connect advocates across the United States,” Crisafi said. “The resources used to be overseen by the Women’s Resource Center here on campus. In 2018, the Health Promotion unit became in charge of the recognition of these movements as this issue became recognized as a public health issue.”

Health Promotion specialist Jon Hill said anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, and students should know these resources are available to them and spread it.

“If students pick up a flier and learn about what is a healthy and unhealthy relationship and pass that on to other students, that already makes a difference,” Hill said. “Anyone can experience domestic or relationship violence, so we want to ensure these resources are available to our students.This month, we’re providing training for students to have the skills to be more confident and comfortable in these conversations, and creating spaces for this.”

Hill said students can keep themselves safe by recognizing harmful signs of domestic violence, such as isolation.

“One of the things we need to look out for is isolation controlled by a romantic partner,” Hill said. “Always wanting to know where you’re at, or if there’s a level of overreliance or dependence on the partner are other signs to be aware of. Overall, controlling behavior is present.”

Crisafi also said these relationships could look perfect on the outside but actually be different in private.

“We don’t want to scare students by saying if a relationship looks healthy we should wait for it to turn unhealthy, which is not true,” Crisafi said. “Oftentimes, when we look at abuse, the student will veil their relationship with their partner in a positive light such as making it seem as if they’re taking care of them or that nobody ‘gets’ their relationship. Ultimately, the abusive partner makes it impossible for the victim to leave.”

There are many events happening this month on campus to make students aware of this month, Hill said.

“We have a calendar of events on our website, and those are happening throughout campus,” Hill said. “One of them is Purple Thursday, which aims to show support for those impacted and students can share their support on social media and ask questions. We’re also working with the organization Sophomore Leaders Impacting, Developing and Educating, or SLIDE, for a presentation in November which aims to bring survivors together.”

Crisafi said students can get involved through volunteering and other opportunities.

“Students can make themselves comfortable in these spaces through volunteering,” Crisafi said. “We also provide internships and practicums and a lot of students ask how they can get involved with our organizations and can connect with them to provide more opportunities. We also have individuals in Green Dot Bystander Intervention who work with our local organizations.”

Crisafi said the ideal for keeping each other safe and ourselves safe is to create a culture where harm does not exist.

“We hear a lot of things like, ‘Do what you need to do to keep yourself and not get harmed,’” Crisafi said. “We don’t really flip that narrative to have conversations on how we create a culture where we don’t want to harm each other, and we’re putting responsibility on stifling some of these discussions that we know have harmful stereotypes or speech.”

Race, gender and ethnicity junior Brailynn Solomon said A&M’s resources to help students in these situations are helpful.

“I would say A&M’s resources are pretty adequate for people who are in these situations,” Solomon said. “I use [Counseling and Psychological Services] quite frequently and see a counselor. I’d say they are serviceable.”

Solomon also said A&M should always strive to build on what they provide for students.

“A&M should always strive to improve their resources even if it seems serviceable now,” Solomon said. “For the time being, I’d say A&M is doing enough in this specific area.”

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About the Contributor
Hilani Quinones
Hilani Quinones, Assistant News Editor
Hilani Quinones is an Honors Political Science sophomore from Brownsville, Texas double minoring in History and English and pursuing a certificate in Legal History. She began writing for The Battalion in August 2023 and has started serving as Assistant News Editor in January 2024. Hilani has covered news primarily regarding Texas politics, student government, and student issues. After graduation, Hilani aims to obtain a JD degree and pursue a career in law or media. 
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