Take the RESPECT! Challenge
Decades ago, breast cancer was a topic so taboo that it wasn't discussed in polite society. As a result, many cases weren't found early enough and women suffered when they might have been saved. Now October is awash in pink, the signature color of the Breast Cancer Awareness movement. This ubiquity represents years of positive action in women's health and reflects our shared passion for improving the lives of women and girls worldwide.
But did you know that October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in every 4 adult women has experienced intimate partner violence, physical or sexual assault at the hands of a spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend. And women who are assaulted before age 18 are twice as likely to have abusive partners as adults. It's a public health crisis claiming almost 2,500 lives a year, and a vicious cycle that can only be stopped when we address the issue together.
That's why Simmons is joining forces with Futures Without Violence, a national organization dedicated to promoting healthy and safe relationships, to educate our community about the dangers of dating violence. How can you get involved? Take the RESPECT! Challenge!
Teaching young people respect for themselves and others is the foundation of building healthy relationships. So let us know who you'd like to thank for teaching YOU respect. Submit your answer in essay, picture or video format and you'll be entered to win regional and national prizes, including scholarships and money for a charity of your choice.
Submit your answers by Friday, October 25:
- Respond via web
- Post your entry to Facebook or on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #RespectChallenge (submissions will only be recognized/accepted from public accounts)
- Visit our RESPECT! Challenge tables on campus
- Wednesday, October 23, 10am-2pm in the MCB Lobby
- Thursday, October 24, 9am-2pm outside of the Fens
- Friday, October 25th, 11am-4pm outside of the Fens
- Friday, October 25th from 5-8PM in Bartol Hall
So this October, don't just think pink: also think about all the women who are suffering in silence as a result of partner violence. Then raise your voice and elevate this critically important issue into the public conversation.
More Ways to Get Involved
- Attend the Speak Up to Take Rape Culture Down conference on November 2
- Join the School of Social Work for a screening of the film "Defending Our Lives" and view their Silent Witness Project exhibit
- Learn more about Betsy's Friends -- a Simmons group dedicated to ending domestic violence -- and the Health Education and Wellness Center
Gina Capra, a Simmons staff member and graduate student who also serves as the regional representative for Futures Without Violence, shared these resources and tips for those coping with assault and abuse:
Note to Survivors: Accessing Domestic/ Dating Violence resources and support on a personal telephone/cellphone or computer can be dangerous if your partner monitors your computer or phone history. Please be sure to use a safe phone or computer when reaching out for support
National Domestic Violence Hotline
- 800-799-SAFE (7233) 800-787-3224 TTY
National Domestic Violence Hotline provides crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to agencies in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The hotline operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and offers services in more than 170 languages.
National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline
- 866-331-9474 866-331-8453 TTY
The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline offers one-on-one service from trained peer advocates and is specifically designed for teens and young adults. It operates 24 hours a day and can be accessed by phone or the internet. Assistance via online chat services is available 4 p.m. to midnight CST, 7 days a week. The helpline also offers translation services.
National Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline
- 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453)
The National Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. Serving the United States, its territories, and Canada, the Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors who, through interpreters, can provide assistance in 170 languages.
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
- Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673)
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) offers assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Callers are automatically directed to on‐duty volunteers to answer questions, provide support and refer to local resources. RAINN also operates the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, providing live and secure help to victims.