Purple ribbons and smiling faces grace the Werner University Center in October as Alpha Chi Omega, the newest sorority on Western's campus, educates others about Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Domestic violence is an intentional pattern of abusive behavior that is used to establish control by a person in a relationship over another person in that intimate relationship. "It's just heartbreaking to see these levels of numbers: 764 survivors of domestic violence in Hays County assisted by HCWC; 158 women were killed just in Texas from domestic violence in 2016".
"They live in fear, isolation and uncertainty". "The love we have for one another is our drive and each member has a tie to domestic violence, whether they know someone who has experienced it our has experienced it themselves, so it touches close to home", said Quintanilla.
"These victims are real, and they are suffering and they need their voices to be heard", she said. She says one of the big problems in SC is a culture where no one wants to talk about domestic violence.
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Intimate partner violence is when the act is committed by a spouse or significant other. Local and national organizations all over the country create campaigns to equip, assist, and empower those people affected by any means necessary, from providing a safe place to live to providing counseling.
Such statistics make it necessary to spread awareness towards this epidemic as it is a silent killer. "I have said it over and over, we will hold the guilty accountable, but in doing so, we need to also take into consideration the young victims who are left behind, our children". That's very risky to think, that's not happening among my friends.
Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center will use the $20,000 grant to address the center's shelter, The Bernard House. The victim themselves may feel too scared to ever even mention it. The walk takes about 30 minutes and is followed by a candlelight vigil to remember those who have been lost and those who are still living with the scars of domestic violence. We're more educated than that, we're smarter than that, we have more money.
This conversation needs to be had and continue being had over and over again; it can not be shoved under the rug and ignored, because when that occurs, there is silence.