Projects against relationship violence return to campus for fall semester

Washburn’s office of sexual assault education and prevention has conducted a grant project through the office of Violence Against Women Department of Justice. The department provides Washburn with a series of free relationship violence awareness events. The events are intended to give the Washburn community with a better understanding of relationship violence, overcoming relationship violence and supporting those who have endured it. In addition, the office of sexual assault education and prevention and Mabee Library have partnered with the psychology department to conduct a three-part relationship violence awareness series that educates the community on how to support survivors of relationship violence. All the events mentioned will continue throughout all of October in recognition of relationship violence awareness month.

Relationship violence can vary between mental, emotional and physical violence. It is a common assumption that a relationship is not abusive unless it is physically abusive, however, that is not true. Abuse can come in many different shapes and sizes. Quite often, people who are in an abusive relationship don’t realize that they are in one until they are physically abused. The following workshops aim to educate students on relationship violence. The events are for all of the Washburn community, faculty and students.

October 1-12, 2018: Clothesline Project Instillation

This project will be standing for 24 hours a day for two weeks to recognize relationship violence in the Union.

October 3, 2018: Consent and Bystander Intervention

The event will be from 5-6:30 and is located in the Mabee Library. The event will provide an overview of recognizing relationship awareness. The event will have free pizza, provided by friends of Mabee Library.

October 4, 2018: Active BODstander Skill Shop

This is the first of the psychology department’s three-part lecture series, “Healthy Relationships,” which will be held from 4-4:45 p.m. in Mabee Library, room 204. This event provides additional information to the workshops shown in WU101 classes.

October  9, 2018: Make Clothesline T-shirts

The event starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 1:30 p.m., in the Union. This event allows students to share their story or support someone who has endured relationship violence by creating a personal message on a t-shirt.

October 15, 2018:Active BODstander

 This event is hosted from 3:15-4:30 in the Union Underground. Includes a FREE taco bar for the first 30 students who attend. The event is a training session that educates people on how to act as bystanders who can take safe actions when witnessing relationship violence.

October 16, 2018: Healthy Relationships

The final and third part to the lecture series will be held from 4-5:30p.m. on the main floor of Mabee Library. This discussion will compare the values, needs and wants in abusive, healthy and unhealthy relationships.

YWCA’s week without violence begins

October 18, 2018: Open Mic Poetry Read against Relationship Violence

This event will be held from 1:30-2:30 in the Union Underground. It is advised that participants bring up to three different poems to read on the subject. The poems have the opportunity to become candidates to be published in the next issue of “Ichabod’s Speak Out.” Participants are to talk to the event coordinator about the opportunity.

October 25, 2018: Sex After Dark

This event will be held from 6-7p.m. in Mabee library, room 204. Positive Directions Staff will be hosting and answering any anonymous sex questions which will be texted through a screen.

October 30, 2018: The Importance of sharing your story

This event will be held from 4-5 p.m. on the main floor of Mabee Library, this event will give students a chance to connect with other students who have endured and overcome relationship violence. This student panel will give the students’ aspect on creating a safer campus.

The project coordinator of sexual assault education and prevention, Shelley Bearman, wants to create a safe and informed campus here at Washburn.

“We want people to feel like they have somewhere to go, without being judged, it’s important to know that it’s a judgement free place to just to get some information and if you find yourself struggling to reach out for help, just know that were her for you.”

Shelley has enjoyed all 3 years that she has worked with this project, and she hopes that it continues to educate students. These events give the bystanders, faculty and students the opportunity to learn what to do if they witness relationship violence.

Students are also ready for a change, and they are eager to learn more about creating a safe community. 

 “I think, we as a culture, normalize violence, and let people get away with it, both men and women. There’s a lot of people that don’t even know how to call what happens to them, ‘abuse’, so when you go to these things, it’s kind of like an OH moment, because it does qualify as abuse. It’s un-normalizing this and saying that this is wrong. This is not how a relationship should be, you should not have to put up with it, and I think it helps people heal who are trying to heal. It’s really hard to find a community when you feel alone. After you come out of a relationship that is so isolating. Finding support in other survivors, it makes it easier to heal,” Alaina Canary, student at Washburn University, said.

If you or someone you know is in a violent relationship, you are encouraged to seek help and find resources. Counseling services provides confidential care for survivors completely free of charge. Contact counseling services by calling (785)-670-3100 or by visiting their office in Kuehne Hall, suite 200.