PSU Criminal Justice Students Raise Awareness About Domestic Violence

October 24th, 2007 by Adam

The numbers can seem overwhelming. According to a Department of Justice survey, approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States. More than a million women and nearly 371,000 are stalked annually in the United States; on average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country every day.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Plymouth State University criminal justice students are working to educate the PSU campus community about the domestic violence crisis.

Criminal Justice professor Stephanie Halter helped her students display public awareness messages on campus in coordination with the SAGE (Sexuality, Anti-violence and Gender Equity) center’s Clothes line project, which displays t-shirts with messages and illustrations designed by survivors, or friends/family of survivors, of domestic and sexual violence.

Halter says the event provides criminal justice students invaluable advocacy experience.

“For many of the students it was their first time engaging in advocacy, several reported feeling that it was hard to put his or herself out there, but once they did, it was a rewarding experience,” Halter said.

“Additionally, I hope this opportunity has helped them develop their own voice on an issue that has affected so many people and provided them with the opportunity to express their opinions and views.”

Anthony Gemma, a PSU senior majoring in Criminal Justice, believes many perpetrators of domestic violence often see it or experience it in their youth, and continue the cycle when they are older.

“It happens a lot,” said Gemma. “If you’re abused, there’s a higher tendency to become an abuser. We need to create some awareness to stop this vicious cycle.”

“It is my hope that my students are learning how to be actively involved in something that they care deeply about, working to bring about positive change,” said Halter.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu