Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Emily Chudzik, News Editor

Did you know that one in four women are affected by domestic violence? On college campuses, one in three women are affected; and those are just the ones reported. This month, Alpha Chi Omega will be working to educate people on domestic violence, as well as ways to recognize and put a stop to it.

“This is the most unreported crime. If Alpha Chi Omega can educate our campus, it can make the world a safer place,” Sammy Smalley said. Smalley, a senior psychology major, is the Chapter President of Millikin University’s Alpha Chi Omega, and is an advocate for preventing domestic violence.

The sorority works closely with the Dove Shelter here in Decatur – a facility intended to help women who have been affected by domestic violence. All of the proceeds donated to Alpha Chi through their fundraisers go to the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation, which supports women and children affected by domestic violence by giving money to organizations that offer them assistance.

“One of the reasons I joined Alpha Chi Omega was to work with the Dove shelter on spreading awareness and teaching people to respect each other,” Rebecca Coucher, sophomore communications major, said. “It’s super important to educate society on the dangers of domestic violence. I feel like, in the past, victims have not been comfortable with speaking up. That’s changing, and the issue is becoming more prevalent.”

Alpha Chi has a number of different events this October to raise awareness. A few of the events include: “To Be In Her Shoes” (putting shoes all across the quad to represent all the people affected by domestic violence), a panel with professors and employees of the Dove shelter, which will discuss domestic violence and the role it’s playing in the media, and their biggest event, Alpha Chi’s and Pies, which will be held on Sunday, October 26 at 7 p.m. at the Alpha Chi Omega house.

“I think that in our society there is a lack of education on what domestic violence really is. Because of that, people don’t think it could happen to them,” Emily Briggs, senior musical

“Really, our goal is to give them an outlet and a sense of normalcy, instead of focusing on their past,” Briggs said.

Alpha Chi also intends to show how domestic violence is not solely a “woman’s issue.” A great number of children, men and even animals are affected. The greatest way to help this cause is attending fundraisers and events, and donating directly to Alpha Chi Omega.

Hopefully, educating people on domestic violence will help to prevent it in some way, and potentially save someone’s life. Smalley said, “If you have been or are currently being affected by domestic violence, contact the Health Center, Safety and Security, tell anyone. That could save your life.”