During the month of April Texas Wesleyan Student life is sponsoring the “No More” campaign to educate and prevent domestic and sexual violence.
On April 8 at noon during free period Blake Bumbard, the security manager for Wesleyan, gave a presentation full of information about domestic violence as well as prevention methods, and victim’s rights.
Even though there was free pizza, attendance for the presentation was low, probably because it was at the same time as the SGA presidential debate that was downstairs. Even though there was only a handful in attendance, Bumbard gave the facts to those who showed.
April and October are Domestic and Dating Abuse Awareness and Prevention months. Bumbard started by saying that Domestic violence has become a “national epidemic – so much so that President Barack Obama recently signed the Campus Save Act into law. The act requires campuses to be more transparent about domestic abuse, offer educational programs and report and domestic violence incidences.
Bumbard defined domestic abuse as any physical assault (hitting, biting, etc.) sexual assault, emotional abuse, stalking, then he went on to give some red flags to look for in these areas. Controlling behaviors, such as phone checking, extreme jealousy and dictating friends and free time are the biggest signs that someone could be an abuser. Name calling and belittlement can be possible red flags indicating future abuse. Even threats could offer signs of domestic abuse.
Bumbard also gave his own words of advice to the audience.
“Liars will continue to lie,” he said, “cheaters will continue to cheat, and abusers will continue to abuse.” Bumbard told a story about when he was an officer, he had helped a young lady who had partied too hard up to her room, but later that night her roommate left her alone for a few hours, during which time the drunk girl was sexually assaulted.
The anecdote was a good segue into the next part of his presentation. Bumbard gave safety and preventions tips for a fun night out on dates. Most importantly, always plan ahead, let people know where you are going to be, always travel in a group, and when in a group you must watch each other’s backs.
It is important that if you arrive in a group that you leave in a group as well. Another tip is to have a group safe word, something that lets the others know it is time to leave. Above all, these plans always should be established before going out when everyone is still sober.
Finally, Bumbard gave useful information about the rights and resources that are available for students who are victims of domestic and sexual abuse. Victims have the right to press charges with law enforcement as well as ask that the school take disciplinary action against the abuser. Victims can ask for changes to living arrangements as well as counseling.
He finished by giving some important phone numbers to have in case you or someone you know is a victim of abuse. First is the Rape Prevention Center in Fort Worth at 817-927-2737; the campus free counseling center at 817-531-4859 and finally to report any abuse anonymously at the toll-free number 866-943-5787.
The presentation was just the first of four events in the “No More” campaign that will take place throughout the month of April.
On April 15 from 5-7 p.m. in Dora’s there will be a “Valentines Anytime” program. This will be a presentation giving information and tips for healthy relationships.
April 24 will be a free self defense class in the Morton Fitness Center dance room during free period starting at 12:15 p.m.
And finally April 29 is the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event. Everyone is encouraged to attend, put on some high heels and walk around the mall. All the shoes from the day will be donated to the Safe Haven Shelter, which is fights to end domestic violence.