By Gustavo Buenrostro
Workshops, lectures, films and other activities will take place for the annual Domestic Violence Awareness Month events in October.
The month will begin with Mujeres de Paz, the 20th annual candlelight vigil and march against domestic violence.
The event will start at Belvedere Park and continue through the ELAC Performing Arts complex. It will feature speeches from local dignitaries, ELAC administration, and East Los Angeles Women’s Center staff. The march will be open to students.
The event, which previously had around 200 people show up, will end with testimonials from survivors of domestic violence.
The Elac student Health Center for Women’s and Men’s Support will host many events during the month of October. On October 5, there will be a workshop on healthy relationships which will help students identify unhealthy cycles in relationships and how to break out of those cycles.
On October 10, a discussion called “Domestic Violence 101” will take place to focus on the social attitudes that influence domestic violence and solutions for it.
On October 12, a discussion about domestic violence and human trafficking will take place.
The workshop will discuss the connection between human trafficking, sexual exploitation and domestic violence, as well as the abuse it causes.
Every Thursday from now until November 16, there will be a Men’s Circle where students can talk about any type of relationship abuse they have gone through in F5-211 from 5 to 6:30 pm.
There will also be a Women’s Circle on Wednesday’s taking place at the same time and place.
“Our team is also focused on getting more men involved in our events, as men are the ones who can influence other men to stop the violence more than women can,” said Marilyn Ladd, original founding member of the SAAVE team.
Another workshop will focus on HIV, HIV prevention and health education on October 17.
“With our October events, I want students to know that awareness of, and ways to prevent, domestic violence are extremely important. Especially to our women in society who suffer the most from domestic violence,” said Ladd.
Andrea Owens, co-chair of the SAAVE team since 2013, also believes everyone should go to these workshops and events during the month.
“Students who have never been in domestic violence situations should still go to these events because almost everyone knows someone who has been involved in these situations.
“The more educated we are, the better things will be in the future. Hopefully, we can eventually stop domestic violence,” said Owens.
East Los Angeles College and the Sexual Assault Awareness Violence Education team will be the hosts for the events.
The SAAVE team, known then as Violence Intervention Team, was originally founded in 2003 in association with USC. Community colleges received funds from the United States Department of Justice to fund events with the intention to end sexual assault on campus says Ladd.
According to Ladd, ending sexual assault on college campuses was the original intent behind the funding and team goals.
They lost their funding from USC in 2007 and joined forces with the ELAC Women Center, which was having domestic violence events. That is when they decided to bring awareness to domestic violence during the month of October.