Sr. John Says: Let’s talk about domestic violence

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Photo credit/ Katlynn Whitaker

Sister John Michele Southwick I.H.M., Special Contributor

When The Wood Word asked me to again write for this piece, I asked them if there was a particular topic they thought needed attention. I was very surprised by the answer.

The student told me that what he had been hearing talked about a lot on campus was domestic violence. Interesting, I thought! Do I know it happens? Yes. But do I think it is a topic of discussion? No! But I am very glad that it is.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “one in four college women has been raped; that is, has been forced, physically or verbally, actively or implicitly, to engage in sexual activity. A 2000 study revealed that 90 percent of college rape survivors knew their attacker before the incident.

Date and acquaintance rape is not only a woman’s issue. Men can also be attacked and raped. Our culture has often been referred to as a rape culture. We take what we want, regardless of what it does to others. Today, media portrays the NFL with one domestic violence offense after another, one ‘supposed’ star athlete after another, hitting and beating a woman.

Why?

I am very glad students here are talking, and hopefully doing more than just talking but educating one another about the issues, the dangers, and watching out for one another. Marywood stands for Respect, a core value that honors the dignity of each person and the mature interactions that encourage each to grow. We seek the common good of all people and look to promote social responsibility.

So, students, let’s talk about it, let’s educate, let’s reach out to those who need our support and let them know there are places on campus to help.

Here are two places to start: The Counseling and Student Development Center at 570-348-6245 and Campus Safety at 570-348-6242.