Wiping out domestic violence

Group uses toilet paper drive, other events to educate students

Jessica Sewing | Collegio Reporter

As domestic violence awareness month approaches, the Students for Violence Prevention (SVP) have planned numerous activities to educate students on the subject.
“We have a lot of scheduled skits and events to raise awareness throughout the campus and community,” said Katy Porter, sophomore in social work.
Students for Violence Prevention is a group dedicated to providing education and awareness to girls, boys, women and men on gender-based violence.
“It happens to people on this campus,” said Ali Clark, junior in communication and international studies. “Students need to be educated about the warning signs of domestic violence because even if it’s not happening to them, it might be happening to someone they know.”
To provide that education to students, SVP has planned half a dozen activities to inform students about domestic violence. One of the major events SVP is planning is the toilet paper drive. Clark says this event is the one she is most looking forward to.
“Many people will be surprised as to why we are asking for rolls of toilet paper,” Clark said.
SVP is sponsoring a toilet paper drive to raise not only awareness that domestic violence does happen, but to educate PSU about the needs of the Safe House Crisis Center.
“The toilet paper drive is really the big thing we are doing right now,” said Kelcey Admire, SVP student coordinator and junior in communication. “They’re always in need of toilet paper, trash bags and such. This offers an opportunity to not only help out the Safe House, but it is also a chance to educate students.”
Members of SVP all say that students need to be educated early about domestic violence. For Porter, the experience of being part of SVP and the Students for Violence Prevention class has changed the direction of her life.
“SVP really made an impact on my life,” Porter said. “I’ve even switched majors because of that class.”
Porter also says that SVP has taught her ways to help people in a better way than she could before.
“I’ve learned what to look for and the warning signs for an abusive relationship and want to teach that to others,” Porter said. “We try to educate people for the obvious reasons, domestic violence is bad and no one deserves it but not everyone is brave enough to go to someone if they’ve been assaulted.”
SVP members have put together skits that they will perform for Freshman Experience classes and presenting the Alpha Sigma Alpha.
The organization also plans to hold its second candlelight vigil on Oct. 23 in the Oval. The group has asked domestic violence victims to speak to students and hold a moment of silence.
“We hope to make it even bigger than last year,” Admire said. “All the events we try to put on we do because we want to make students aware that violence happens, and it does happen at Pitt.”

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