To raise awareness about domestic violence, the Crime Victims’ Institute (CVI) and the Crime Victim Services Alliance (CVSA) will host three events in October, including “The Clothesline Project,” a screening and panel discussion on “Telling Amy’s Story,” and a lecture from a leader in a domestic violence agency in Texas.
Domestic violence effects one out of every three women, with an estimated 54 million victims annually in the United States. Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior which may include physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats that are designed to frighten, intimidate, isolate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.
The Crime Victims’ Institute is a research center at Sam Houston State University that studies the impact of crime on victims, their relatives, and society and evaluates the effectiveness of criminal justice and juvenile justice policies to prevent victimization. The Crime Victim Services Alliance is a student organization dedicated to advancing knowledge and awareness of victim services for those interested in the criminal justice system, crime victim rights, and crime victim services.
Among the events planned in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month are:
- The Clothesline Project invites students to decorate tee shirts to honor the victims of domestic violence in Texas from Oct. 14-18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Mall Area. Each shirt, which will bear the name and information about each victim, will be on display beginning Oct. 21 to raise awareness about the issue. In 2012, more than 100 people were killed in the state as the result of domestic violence.
- On Monday, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Theater, CVI and CVSA will host a screening of “Telling Amy’s Story,” a documentary that chronicles the case of a Pennsylvania woman who was shot to death by her husband after years of abuse. The film will be followed by a panel discussion.
The documentary provides a timeline of the last weeks, months and years of Amy Homan McGee’s life. It also offers lessons learned in this case that can be used to prevent similar tragedies. The public service media project, produced by the Penn State Public Broadcasting, was hosted by Mariska Hargitay of “Law and Order: SVU” and told by Det. Deirdri Fishel of the State College Police Department in Pennsylvania.
- Finally, the CVI will debut the Voices Lecture Series, which will explore victimization issues and victim service agencies, on Oct. 30 at 2 p.m., in the Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom. The inaugural speaker will be Barbie Brashear, Executive Director of the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council. The council works on collaborative efforts in the community to reduce and prevent domestic violence. Among the programs they offer are education and outreach; an adult violent death review team to identify future prevention methods; and community safety assessments.