Speak Up and Speak Out Against Domestic Violence

by Gargi Padki, Community Engagement Fellow, Colin Powell School

Project Speak Up Speak Out will release a photo project that has been in development since early October on December 2nd at 12:30pm in the North Academic Center rotunda.

During our “16 Days Against Gender Violence,” we will display photos taken of over a hundred students, faculty, and staff at City College in order to start a dialogue about domestic violence awareness on our campus. Speak Up Speak Out is committed to breaking the silence of domestic violence and addressing violence in our communities as a public health issue. In the spring, we will begin recruiting volunteers to help in our continued efforts to engage the college community to speak out against domestic violence.

At Speak Up Speak Out we want to empower students to take a stand against violence, and we believe that starts by educating ourselves about abusive relationships. We believe that domestic violence is prevalent in our society, that it exists across race, class, and gender lines, that it exists on our campus, and that we have both the opportunity and the responsibility to put an end to intimate partner violence.

Abuse can often be tracked back to early signs of an abuser’s need to control one’s partner. A fairly innocuous request, such as asking for access to a partner’s email or social media accounts, can be a sign of unhealthy possessiveness or controlling behavior. An abusive partner will begin to isolate and control early in the relationship to assert power, and taking control of a Facebook or email account can lead to digital dating abuse.

Domestic violence is often hidden because of shame or embarrassment, but at Speak Up Speak Out we encourage students to begin taking the journey to better understand cycles of violence and gain access to the resources available in their communities by talking about the issue with others.

Next week we’ll be displaying our photographs around campus of students who support domestic violence awareness. Look for that, and in the meantime, visit projectspeakupspeakout.wordpress.com for more information.

Speak Up Speak Out is a project supported by the Community Engagement Fellowship at the Colin Powell School of Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York, and is partnered with CONNECT NYC, a community center located in Harlem that works to build safe families and peaceful communities.