Events Raise Relationship Violence Awareness

Student and faculty groups on Emory’s Campus implemented programs and performances throughout October to recognize Relationship Violence Awareness month.

Groups that included Sexual Assault Peer Advocate (SAPA) Training and Emory Hospital Midtown worked with Emory Intimate Partner Violence Working Group to co-host a series of events to promote awareness of the effects of relationship violence and ways to stop it, according to the Office of Health Promotion’s (OHP) website.

Assistant Director for the Respect Program Lauren Bernstein said the Respect Program co-hosted all of the events and is primarily working to engage the Emory community in preventing and responding to sexual and relationship violence.

“We want to ensure that everyone on campus knows that they have support and resources,” she said.

According to Bernstein, the calendar for Relationship Violence Awareness Month shows that the University-wide effort Emory is making engages the community in the prevention and approach to interpersonal violence.

As part of the month-long event, student group Sexual Assault Peer Advocates (SAPA) hosted a “Bra Chain” on Oct. 23 in conjunction with Alliance for Sexual Assault Prevention (ASAP) and Feminists in Action (FIA), according to SAPA Vice President and College sophomore Amina Khan.

The groups strung together bras donated by the Emory community and hung them across Cox Bridge during Wonderful Wednesday to raise awareness about domestic violence.

Khan said the bras were then donated to a local shelter for battered women and their children.

Another event held during this month was “Pedagogy Meets Performance: Interrogating Male Intimate Partner Violence Against Women.”

College senior Khatdija Meghjani spoke at this event Oct. 30 about being a student in a class taught by Men Stopping Violence (MSV) at Emory as well as a volunteer with the organization itself.

According to Meghjani, the class effectively transformed personal problems into a social issue through tools, texts and speakers.

“I came into the course and MSV feeling like a victim, and through my experiences with them, I transformed into a survivor,” Meghjani said. “Gradually becoming an ambassador of social change and seeing the transformation within myself was the best thing that I got out of this experience,” Meghjani said.

According to Bernstein, the next step for the Emory community is to focus primarily on prevention and ending sexual violence at Emory.

The months’ events also included “Campus Safety Fair,” “Domestic Violence in the Workplace Conference,” “Preventing Sexual Assault on College Campuses,” “Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day, a Dialogue on Men’s Role in Sexual Violence Prevention,” “Fighting the Silence,” “Queering Enthusiastic Consent,” “Center for Women Service Day,” “What Can We Do? An Inside Look at Intimate Partner Violence, Leadership, & Community,” “What Can I Do? When Intimate Partner Violence Touches My Life,” “Scholarship and Partner Violence” and “Take Back the Night Rally and Speak Out.”

— Contact Naomi Maisel at 

[email protected]

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence, you have support at Emory. Please contact Lauren (LB) Bernstein, Assistant Director for the Respect Program at 404.727.1514 or [email protected] for confidential support. You can also learn more about the Respect Program at respect.emory.edu.

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