One topic that is brought up when talking about women’s right is violence against women and girls.
PSU student Jacqueline Hottel created a project focused on violence against women and the resources available for women that experience this.
“I decided to do this project because I have seen different women all my life be abused and mistreated and they had nowhere to go,” Hottel said. “I have been in the situation of needing help and not knowing where to find the help I need. I see ladies I went to grade school with who are suffering with these awful relationships and they don’t know what to do to get out of them and create a better life for them and their families.”
Hottel has wanted to raise awareness on this topic for several years.
“I began to think about this around 5 or 6 years ago, and when the opportunity came to do a project in a class, I did not hesitate on what my topic was going to be, and this only comes from experience in life,” Hottel said.
Being educated and knowing where to go after a situation like this takes place has the potential to play a huge role in a victim’s decision to reach out and seek help according to Hottel.
“I think topics like this one are shut down because it is an uncomfortable situation,” Hottel said. “Here is an example: say I have a friend who I know is being abused. It is my duty to let her know there are safe options in our community and surrounding communities that can help her. I think most people don’t directly say (that) to a person they need help, but sometimes providing little information such as a phone number or a place to go, could potentially save lives.”
If you witness a violent act take place, the best thing you can do is speak up according to Hottel. There are also many resources for victims of violence.
“Some ways people can help is the famous saying, ‘If you see something, say something,” Hottel said. “You can always call 911, you can call your local police department, non-emergency and it will connect you directly with an officer. The phone number for the Pittsburg Police department is 620-235-0400. Also, anyone could go to a local hospital, fire station or shelter for help. Many churches offer help for those trying to get back on their feet and places such as the Wesley house and Salvation Army are great organizations for people in need. Pittsburg no longer has a homeless shelter, however there is a local safehouse for individuals. There are also mental health services in Pittsburg and the Community Health Center of SEK.”
Hottel has some ideas on proiding support for victims of violence.
“People can get involved by having more ‘Safe Zones’ in our town,” Hottel said. “I think on campus there needs to be a place where anyone can go and get help… no matter the situation and also should be open to more than just students. The campus has good security, and this would make others feel safe to come and talk and get help. Leaders need to be more educated on what to do in situations of helping someone of abuse to a better path.”
Women on college campuses especially should know the resources available to them.
“Women on campus need to know that if they are abused, assaulted or anything along those lines, that they have a safe, discreet place to go and report and also get services to help them through the rough time,” Hottel said. “I know every student has to do a Sexual Harassment learning on campus, however I think in that learning, there needs to be real people, real places and real phone numbers to call any time of the day for help.”