posted 2011-03-23 13:00:18

A Discussion on Domestic Violence: What are the resources available to Hunter students?

A Discussion on Domestic Violence:|

What are the resources available to Hunter students?

Nicole Weintraub

Contributing Writer

In light of International Women’s Month, Hunter College students have recently been engaged in discussions on how domestic violence affects their lives and the resources available to them on and around campus.

With 60 percent of its undergraduate population being under the age of 25, and 72 percent of its total population being female, Hunter College contains in large numbers two overlapping populations most at risk for domestic violence: young people and women. One in four women has experienced intimate partner violence in her lifetime, and women comprise 85% of the total number of victims, according to statistics listed on the Domestic Violence Resource Center webpage. Further, women ages 20-24 were identified by the Bureau of Justice as having the highest risk of being abuse victims.

Despite such statistics, Hunter students feel that there are few outlets on campus for students victimized by domestic violence.

“I feel that if there were a situation or incident where either I or anyone else was in an abusive relationship, I’d turn to my friends and family, but I’m not aware of any on-campus places to turn to,” stated Ramneet Kaur, a freshman.

Freshman William Medonis, a double major in English and French, echoed Kaur’s sentiments. “I feel that in college, domestic violence and abusive relationships are much more prevalent. In high school, there is more of a close-knit community and many more support systems.”

A sophomore who goes by Nick stressed that, “the school gives decent info, but I don’t think it’s well promoted or paid attention to. I feel like the school should make it something people could pay attention to, like maybe have seminars or something that students could attend,” he said.

Hunter College does in fact offer counseling for students dealing with a variety of issues, including sexual harassment, and according to the Department of Public Safety’s webpage, Public Safety officers can intervene in incidences of domestic violence reported on campus to aid and protect the victims.

There are also resources for victims of domestic violence in New York City at large, including Day One, a non-profit organization, which provides those in abusive situations with various free and confidential services including moral support and legal advice. The organization’s services are available for youth ranging from 13 to 24 years old.

The organization also has a Peer Leadership Program intended to mobilize members of New York’s youth to educate their peers and campaign against domestic abuse. The Youth Voices Network gives voices to survivors of dating abuse to share their stories and to encourage others to seek help. Finally, the organization is presently putting out an E-Zine on the issues confronting domestic violence victims.

In light of these resources, freshman Mia Franklyn suggested that students often do not realize what’s available to them. “I think that there should be more programs in colleges for domestic abuse because not a lot of people are really aware of it in school.  I don’t know where to go if someone is being abused,” she emphasized.

Medonis added, “I feel that there should be more programs and awareness, and this should be highlighted at events for incoming freshmen and transfer students, such as including it in orientation or making a domestic violence/abusive relationship presentation mandatory.”

 

Find out the best way you can be a friend to someone trapped in an abusive relationship by visiting the Day One website at www.dayoneny.org or you can call their toll free hotline at 1-800-214-4150 to get further information or help. In order to participate in the campaign or be quoted in the magazine, email nweintra@hunter.cuny.edu.