October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the University of Toledo is holding many events that shed light on the issue.
According to a UT press release, the first event, Bystander Training, held Oct. 11, was a public event to train people on the safest ways to intervene in instances of stalking, sexual violence and relationship violence.
The Purple Ribbon Campaign allows people to pledge to never commit, accept or stay silent about domestic violence.
Students and staff wore purple ribbons Thursday in Thompson Student Union to show their support for victims of domestic violence as part of the campaign.
Later that day, UT held a self-defense class for women at the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women.
Future sessions will be held Oct. 19, 25 and 26 at 5:30 p.m. for anyone interested in learning how to protect themselves against attackers.
Students, faculty and Toledo community members also went to a Rape Aggression Defense class on Oct. 11 and 12, said Jill Gadberg, instructor for the RAD program and retired UT police officer.
“[This class] is to teach women how to protect themselves against rape and abduction,” Gadberg said. “We want women to respond in a vast number of ways to a number of situations.”
Being aware is the most important aspect taught in the class, as it is the best defense against sexual assault and domestic violence, she said.
“The goal is not to hurt the person, it is to get away from that person,” Gadberg said. “If you are grabbed in a bear hug, you need to regain your balance and try to attack the attacker.”
Among the techniques Gabderg teaches her students, they learn how to strike attackers with jabs, punches, kicking and spikes, she said.
“These programs will let survivors know that they are supported and they are not alone. We educate campus community members to start and continue conversations about these issues, so we can continue to combat domestic violence an intimate partner violence,” said Jamie Wlosowicz, graduate assistant for the Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Program.
Many more events will take place throughout the remaining half of October, including an awareness campaign that will be present throughout Centennial Mall and Thompson Student Union during the week of Oct. 23.