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Intimate Partner Violence Awareness Month

October, 2019
  • Dating and Relationship Abuse Infographic
    Dating and Relationship Abuse Infographic

Sometimes listening is the most important thing you can do to help someone who is in an abusive relationship. October is designated as Intimate Partner Violence Awareness Month and for the past few weeks Quinsigamond Community College has been hosting some events to shed light on this subject that touches everyone.

“These issues cut across every segment of the population,” said QCC’s Dean of Compliance Liz Woods. “No one is spared.”

The statistics are tough to hear. In Massachusetts, one in three women and one in five men reported having experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. It takes the average person 7-8 times before he/she can actually leave an abusive situation.

Seeing a loved one in an abusive situation is very difficult, and often the initial inclination is to encourage a person to get help. However that can sometimes backfire when a victim is taken out of the situation before he or she ready. And, in some incidents, can even make the situation worse.

“A major issue for victims is regaining some control over their lives. When we take them out of the situation not of their own accord we’ve taken away their decision,” Ms. Woods said.

The best thing a person can do to help someone in an abusive situation is to first listen to them.

“You can then tell the person there is someone on campus who can help when he/she is ready. People are most at risk when they tell the abuser they are going to leave so they have to have a plan ready,” Ms. Woods said, adding that her office (Room 347A in the Administration Building) is a “safe place” and generally people who come to see her are referred by someone they respect. Often those referrals come from a professor or a member of the College’s Domestic Violence Advocacy Group.

Ms. Woods wants students who find themselves in a difficult and dangerous situation to realize they are not alone. There are a multitude of resources both on and off campus that are available. Information and resources can also be found on the College’s bulletin boards and in bathrooms.

“There are great resources in the City that we can connect you with such as the ‘Y,’ Pathways for Change, Jane Doe. Inc. and other services,” Ms. Woods said.

In Massachusetts, more than 50 domestic violence programs are available and provide a range of free and confidential individual and community emergency and advocacy services for survivors and their families. 

Local resources include:

  • the YWCA 24-Hour Help line:  508.755.9030
  • Pathways for Change: 1.800.870.5905

An additional event during the month included a viewing of the video, The Bystander Moment, by Jackson Katz and subsequent discussion.  The film stressed the crucial importance of appealing to people not as potential perpetrators or passive spectators, but as active bystanders and potential leaders who have a positive role to play in challenging and changing the sexist cultural norms that too often lead to gender violence.

To reach Ms. Woods call 508.854.2791 or email,  lwoods [at] qcc.mass.edu  

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