October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and several events, including a poignant exhibit and a noted speaker on Tuesday [Oct. 16], are planned at East Central University to bring attention to the problem.
Posters and flyers are posted around the campus, and the Campus Initiative to Reduce Crime Against Women (CIRCAW) and its partners will have information and resources displayed in ECU buildings.
The Tuesday program will begin with The Silent Witness exhibit from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first floor of the University Center. It contains 200 life-sized red silhouettes representing a man, woman or child who died at the hands of his or her abuser.
"I came across an awesome quote that describes this exhibit," said Leah Lyon, coordinator of the CIRCAW program. "It said to imagine 200 murder victims in a room, each one telling their story. It said, 'Imagine that each one died violently at the hand of someone who was supposed to love them.'"
Each individual's story is written on the front of the silhouette. Lyon said it is too late to rescue those victims, but there is still time to help others in Oklahoma.
Anthony Porter, founder of A Call to Men, will speak about domestic violence and prevention at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Stanley Wagner Ballroom in the Memorial Student Union.
"The 7 p.m. program will be geared more toward ECU's Athletic Department and athletes, providing them a specific opportunity to attend the program around their busy class and practice schedules," Lyons said, "but everyone is welcome at both presentations.
"This is an opportunity to hear and see one of the top speakers in the nation on the subject of domestic violence and prevention," she said.
Porter is an educator and activist who has worked in the social justice arena for more than 20 years. He is internationally recognized for his effort to end men's violence against women. He is the original visionary and co-founder of ACT Men Consultants and A Call To Men: National Association of Men and Women Committed to Ending Violence Against Women.
He has presented numerous programs to university campuses across the nation. His visit to ECU is sponsored by CIRCAW, the ECU Athletics Department/NCAA and the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
Also in the University Center on Tuesday will be poster presentations by ECU nursing students as a part of their service-learning and information tables by the ECU Sociology Club, CIRCAW, the Chickasaw Nation Domestic Violence Prevention Office and the Family Crisis Center.