Campus Recognizes Domestic Abuse Awareness Month


In the five minutes* it takes you to read this article, 120 people across the US will have experienced rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner. JSU is recognizing Domestic Abuse Awareness Month in hopes of ending the dangerous cycle of intimate partner violence.

“Domestic violence is far too prevalent in our society,” said Jennifer Argo, Title IX coordinator for JSU. “The best way to combat this problem is to educate and empower people – including college students – about what a healthy relationship versus an unhealthy relationship is, and how to best help other people if someone notices the signs of an unhealthy relationship.”

Events and activities include:

  • Door/Poster Decorating Contest: Sponsored by Survivors Overcoming Abusive Relationships (SOAR), all submissions must be posted on the “SOAR at JSU” Facebook page no later than midnight on Oct. 31. The first place winner will receive $100 in Flex Dollars from SODEXO, second place gets a $75 gift card to Heroes and third place receives a $50 gift card to the JSU campus bookstore
  • Closeline Project: SOAR is collaborating with Women’s Issues, Support and Empowerment (WISE) and 2nd Chance, Inc. to display the Clothesline Project on the Theron Montgomery Building Lawn on Oct. 24, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Several groups around campus, including the University Police Department, Title IX Office and Counseling Services will have tables set up with information available.
  • Rock Painting: The Department of Art is working with student artists to paint rocks with the 10 signs of Unhealthy Relationships: Intensity, Jealousy, Manipulation, Isolation, Sabotage, Belittling, Guilting, Volatility, Deflecting Responsibility and Betrayal. 

These are a few of the ways to raise awareness about domestic abuse, but nothing is better than joining the conversation in person, Argo said. 

“I think it is important for someone with information to get out of their offices, out of their dorm rooms, and go out and meet other people” Argo said. “Develop friendships around campus, mentor others and get their information out face to face.” 

The students Argo has met with have been receptive to learning about this difficult subject.  

“I think sometimes college students are more open to a discussion regarding these issues than others, who are maybe more set in their thinking,” she said. “Generally, our JSU students have been willing to learn and respectful of different points of view.”  

It’s important to note that this is not just a female or male issue. 

“Domestic violence occurs in heterosexual relationships, LGBTQ relationships, in all socioeconomic groups, and it occurs in married and dating relationships,” Argo said. “It likely personally effects most people in one way or another.”

Affecting true, lasting change means remaining vigilant and speaking up when the time comes.

“I want students to know that they have the power to make a difference,” Argo said. “If they see something or hear something that concerns them, they should let us know. I want students to know that their administrators want to help, their teachers want to help, and even other students want to help. Bystander intervention is probably the most powerful tool available in teaching others what is appropriate versus what is inappropriate.”    

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, there are a number of resources available to help. Please call any of the following contacts:

  • Jennifer Argo, JSU Title IX coordinator, 256-782-5769 or
  • University Police, 256-782-5050
  • 2nd Chance, Inc. (offers emergency shelter and other resources), 256-236-7381 or
  • Local Crisis Line, 256-236-7233
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-650-6522 or

* Each minute, 24 people across the US experience rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner – adding up to more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year. Source: National Domestic Violence Hotline.