In honor of Intimate Partner Violence Awareness Month, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center staged a demonstration Wednesday afternoon on the Diag. Student volunteers set up 226 flags — each represented 20 students — to represent a total of 4,250 students from the the 2015 campus climate survey who reported experiencing intimate partner violence.
According to LSA sophomore Nikki Dlesk, a volunteer who was tabling the event and handing out informational flyers regarding SAPAC services, domestic violence is often overlooked compared to sexual assault, and people aren’t as comfortable discussing it.
“This is really important because I think a lot of times we think of intimate partner violence as being between people who are married or older, but a lot of times this does happen with young or new relationships,” Dlesk said. “It’s important to spread awareness among campus and know that there is a safe resource among people with whom you can talk to in full confidentiality.”
LSA junior Richa Patel said she appreciated her experience tabling the event because many individuals came up to talk about the issue — not just University students.
“It’s been interesting and powerful that a lot of adult men have come to our table, and told us ‘I have known of a woman’ or ‘My wife has been subjected to this in the past, so I think it’s really important you’re bringing awareness to this now,’” she said. “It just really hits home that there are people out there appreciating the work that we do, and seeing that the work that we do can cause people to be more aware of their surroundings and the individuals in it.”