One in three women and one in four men have been victims of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime, according to a National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey in 2010. Two
groups from the University of Toledo are looking to change the stereotypes and raise awareness for this relevant issue.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. are joining together to host the Fire and Ice Anti-Domestic Violence Charity Ball Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. in the Student Union’s Ingman Room.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at Ask Rocky’s for $7 or $10 at the door. All proceeds will be donated to the Bethany House, a long-term shelter for domestic violence victims and their children in northwest Ohio.
The formal attire gala will include keynote speeches from Kevin Powell, author and activist, and Danielle Haynes, UT sexual assault and domestic violence survivor campus advocate
Dominique Jenkins, fourth-year business management major with a minor in business law and president of Delta Sigma Theta, said she got involved with the event because it’s an issue of importance.
“I’ve never been somebody who was okay with or turned a blind eye to domestic violence,” Jenkins said. “It’s always been something that I’ve been completely against. I’ve seen how badly it affects people and I’ve heard so many bad stories about how people would kill themselves or be killed because of domestic violence situations or people have friends where they wouldn’t want to say anything and something happens to the friend and they live on, regretting it.”
The event organizers hope to raise at least $1,000 for the Bethany House, but Lance Price. Jr. says raising awareness is just as important.
“It was just really a need,” said Price, president of Alpha Phi Alpha and third-year computer-science and engineering technology student. “I know specifically for us, from a male standpoint, I don’t know off the top of my head too many groups of men on campus that are advocating and pushing for advocacy for domestic violence victims, raising awareness, and spear leading that effort. A lot of times it might come from the ladies but not necessarily coming from the men. So I think, just from a representation standpoint to have men being behind the charge to help support the victims and everything that’s involved, that’s pretty deep.”
Price hopes to continue bringing this event to campus every year. He said domestic violence and sexual assault are serious issues that men and women need to work together to fight.
“It’s all hand-in-hand,” Price said. “I think the biggest thing is really about respecting people, respecting people’s boundaries, respecting bodies. I think the big thing is, when you hear it coming from a group of men, we have these stereotypes: people think men are all ‘rah, rah, rah’ about this. Also to defy that stereotype and generalization, especially for men of color, where the stereotypes against us aren’t always nice to begin with... When you can see two historical organizations coming together to do something for the community and the campus, I think its big and it's something a lot of people can take away from.”
Both Jenkins and Price hope that this event brings awareness about domestic violence to campus. Jenkins said talking about this issue will help people to want to speak out.
“Domestic violence [awareness] is something that is important to my sorority and something that is important to me,” Jenkins said. “So if I can help in any way to bring change to it, then I will.”