Purple—a color seen in our neck of the woods as the perfect pair to orange, representing the mighty Clemson Tigers. It’s also a color used to symbolize a very important national cause—domestic violence.
More purple will paint campus this month as several departments and organizations come together to bring educational focus to domestic violence and its far-reaching impact as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“It is important to raise awareness of the critical issue of domestic violence, empower survivors to seek help, and educate the University community on prevention and support,” says Alesia Smith, assistant vice president and Title IX coordinator. “We encourage students, faculty and staff to take collective action as we strive to make this an outstanding place to live, learn, work and grow.”
According to the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, one in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of defining characteristic or socioeconomic status and can affect friends, family, colleagues or even ourselves. Everyone knows someone.
A number of events are taking place on campus throughout the next month to raise awareness of this topic and show survivors they are not alone. With representation from Office of Access and Equity (Interpersonal Violence Prevention), Interpersonal Violence Response, Clemson University Police Department, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, Healthy Campus, It’s On Us, Pickens County Advocacy Center and Safe Harbor, the Domestic Violence Awareness Month committee has planned events to engage and educate the campus community.
“We thank all of these organizations for their support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month at Clemson,” says Megan Fallon, interpersonal violence prevention coordinator within Access and Equity. “There are many ways to show support, including our tabling events or simply by wearing a purple ribbon. By wearing the ribbon, you are showing support for survivors who see that education and necessary conversations are happening on our campus.”
Interpersonal Violence Response is hosting a Sip and Paint event on Oct. 19 from noon-3 p.m. in the Library Learning Commons (on the third floor of Cooper Library). Students, faculty and staff can stop by to enjoy a cup of hot coffee and join the #PutANailInIt campaign by painting their ring fingernail purple in support of survivors. Participants can also share the #1Thing they can do to help eradicate domestic violence in our community. Oct. 19 is also designated as Purple Thursday. In addition to painting your nail at the Sip and Paint event, wear purple all day in solidarity with survivors of domestic violence.
The Clemson University Police Department and Interpersonal Violence Response are teaming up to offer a self-defense class to all members of the University community on Oct. 23 from 5-6:15 p.m. in the David Peebles Room of Hendrix Student Center. Participants will have the opportunity to learn more about signs of abuse and safety tips, while practicing ways to defend themselves physically. In continuation with the national #1Thing campaign, hosts reiterate how one thing can make a stand against domestic violence and equip students, faculty and staff with self-defense skills.
One of the signature events of the month occurs on Oct. 26. It’s On Us, a student organization, is hosting a candlelight vigil to honor survivors of domestic violence at 6:30 p.m. on the front steps of Sikes Hall.
Counseling and Psychological Services and Interpersonal Violence Response also collaborated to design a domestic violence resource guide. The guide includes books, podcasts, journals and content related to domestic violence. It also includes a list of campus and community resources along with more information about all events happening throughout Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Lastly, the campus community is encouraged to wear purple all month long—not only to show support for the Tigers, but also to support those impacted by domestic violence and show commitment to promoting healthy relationships.