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SVP hosts Escalation Workshop and discussion

Stephanie Spitz, campus victim advocate, leads a discussion on Oct. 6 for the SVP’s Escalation Workshop. Alyssa Tyler

SVP hosted a workshop on escalation and discussion on Oct. 6 in the governor’s room of the Overman Student Center. 

“The escalation workshop is a video and conversation workshop that was made by One Love,” said Campus Victim Advocate and advisor of SVP, Stephanie Spitz. Because Yeardley Love was unfortunately killed in a very similar way to the escalation film, it was very inspired by her story and those who had also lost their lives to intimate partner violence.”

The video, Escalation, was created by the group One Love. It shows the story of a college-age couple whose relationship quickly goes from healthy, unhealthy, abusive, and finally deadly.

“October is domestic violence month, it’s a national month and we were having a conversation prior to October, and we were talking about how rates of domestic violence and relationship violence have gone up since the start of the pandemic. Especially among our students at Pitt State,” said senior in biology and student coordinator of SVP, Wren Lowrey. “And so, we decided instead of going along of the traditional route that we’ve done in the years past where we put up purple ribbons and the jars of lights with the purple ribbons, we wanted to try and increase some awareness of what an unhealthy relationship can look like and how it can escalate to abusive and deadly.”

The film showed a variety of different types of abuse, and it also showcased how bystanders can recognize the signs of an abusive relationship. 

“I think sometimes it’s advantageous to see something because it’s one thing to talk about statistics and it’s one thing to talk about rates of abuse and it’s another thing to actually experience it,” Lowrey said. “Because we can all say we’re going to do the right thing at the right time and be really good bystanders and I think everyone has that good intention, I think we’re all good people but when it comes down to it most people aren’t going to experience that.”

Along with the escalation event, SVP is doing a variety of other events during the month to spread awareness of relationships and domestic violence. An alcohol education fair in the Crossroads of the Overman Student Center on Oct. 20. Wear Purple day is Oct. 21.  By wearing purple people can show their support for victims of abuse and can show their allyship to help them. SVP will also have purple silhouettes placed around campus with statistics and stories, and there will be a book display in the Axe Library the last two weeks of Oct. 

“With education comes hope, empowerment, and hopefully prevention of future things from happening,” Spitz said. “So, I’m really excited for that book display and our wear purple day, and really getting more people involved in the conversation. If we’re aware and educated and know how to respond it’s only better to help our entire community respond to it so being an ally is important. It’s for everyone, it’s a humanitarian issue, not a women’s issue. Not like how generations before previously perceived it as.” 

For those interested in joining SVP, there are a variety of ways to get involved. “You can just show up to our meetings,” said Tiffany Demoss, graduate student in counseling and co-advisor for SVP. “They’re on Tuesdays at 3:30 in the basement of the Axe Library. You can also message our social media. If someone doesn’t want to be super active, if they’re worried about scheduling conflicts, they can always share our social media, come to our events (and) support as much as they can.”

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