Food for Thought

Each week there is at the very least one story that highlights a person that has been sexually violated in some way. Whether it is in another country, or in our own backyard. This week we had the story of two ex football players from Vanderbilt, who were actually tried and convicted. Let’s hope they get a deserving sentence! For more on that check out the story here.

This story and similar ones that I stumble upon each week were echoed on Tumblr (also known as a black hole for me.)

SchoolSexual Assault

It seems like Vanderbilt was fairly proactive, which is great, but that is more of a gem in a sea of crap. The way schools handle sexual assaults has been a big point of contention for me, but seeing this photo just drove it home. If someone cheats on exam or paper, there is usually little leniency for the perpetrator, but if someone is sexually assaulted, the administrations conjure up excuses, move heaven and earth, hell too? in order to justify the actions that took place. Just let this sink in for a bit.

This little gem popped up on my feed too:

Source

There is so much truth here.

Lending a Hand

depression 2

Mental Health has been a topic national discussion, in the wake of Robin Williams’ suicide, and the call for their to be a more efforts put into researching mental health, as well as an honest discussion on how the mentally ill are regarded in this country.

There is a huge stigma attached to having a mental illness, and it is this stigma that add more reasons for people not to seek help. Mental illness is seen as a weakness, and that people should just “suck it up,” which is why we see so many mentally ill on the street, people who are deemed “lazy” or they just did not “try hard enough”. It becomes their problem, and takes any culpability away from a society that turns a blind eye to those who are struggling, and suffer from very real issues.

One of the things we discussed yesterday during the Women’s Center meeting, are the things we can\will be doing during this semester, and hopefully for many semester to follow. Starting February we will be having a Support Group on Wednesday’s from Noon – 1 led by a counselor from Access Hope and starting next week on Thursday’s from 3:30 – 4:30 there will a Recovery Community meeting.

We are all really excited to have these groups available, and hope that they provide some support to those in need.

This is a national battle, but we can do our part in our little community. Here are some folks who are sharing their own stories, and pushing to make change in how we interact with mental health:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/16/health/mental-wellness-warriors-fighting-for-those-who-need-it-most/index.html

Welcome Back!

Welcome back everyone! The Spring Semester has just begun, and the Women’s Center is excited to get things rolling again.

741-1177

Hopefully everyone had a good break, and is ready to go!

Next Tuesday, January 20th at 2 p.m. in Room 331, will be our first meeting of the new semester, and we are really looking forward to everyone coming out and discussing what you would like to see happen throughout the semester. So, please bring your ideas, let us know what things you would like us to discuss, and what kind of impact we could all make on our campus.

Photo Credit: Welcome signs, Laem Tong beach, Phi Phi Don Island, Thailand, Southeast Asia, Asia. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 13 Jan 2015.
http://quest.eb.com/#/search/151_2506578/1/151_2506578/cite

Some Things You Might have Missed on Our Facebook and Around the Internet

There is this great infographic on intimate partner violence statistics:

http://www.upworthy.com/heres-what-it-looks-like-when-a-normal-relationship-descends-into-an-abusive-nightmare?c=tpstream

If you are not following Chescaleigh, just watch some of her videos. She addresses a lot of socioeconomic issues that continue to be both prevalent and problematic today. She is also hilarious! Here is her video on being an ally:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dg86g-QlM0&feature=youtu.be

Here is a post about a study done that allows people to experience what it is like living with another skin color in virtual environments:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/15/virtual-body-swapping-racism_n_6328654.html?ir=Black+Voices&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000047

I find this one particularly interesting due to the fact that people of color who play games are often faced with playing a character that does not reflect their color, so it is fascinating for scientists to look at this from the other end of the spectrum.

Black Lives Matter at NOVA

black lives matter

This phrase has been appearing across social media as of late, in the wake of both Ferguson and New York. There are heated debates all over discussing police brutality, but on a larger scale, systems that exist that do not protect people of color, and perpetuate long held sentiments of institutionalized racism.

We have never really had an honest discussion about racism in this country, and how it is so entrenched in the foundations, and how it has shaped the way we function as a nation today. Ferguson and New York are just two more tragic examples of this, and how there needs to be a change, and how we need to have an honest discussion.

Today NOVA stands together.

#iamjosephwindham

The faculty, staff, and students of the Women’s Center are saddened to report the passing of a great man, professor and civic leader, Dr. Joseph Windham. He gave his life selflessly to the success, fulfillment and advancement of his students here at NOVA. He was a champion for equal rights for all and was a true friend of all of us at the Women’s Center. His loss will be greatly felt.

Here is the board that was created in his honor:

memorial

An Amazingly Busy Week

The Women’s Center has had a busy week, attending some great events for wonderful causes.   First we attended the Clothesline Project, which we hope will be a continuing tradition on our campus.  There were quite a few students, staff, faculty, and whole departments that participated.

Clothesline Project

The library even did a display that provides further information on the topic.

Clothesline Project Display

 

SAS may be doing it again in the Spring, so if you were unable to attend this semester, keep checking back so you can participate next semester.

 

After the Clothesline Project, the Women’s Center held its annual Breast Cancer walk around campus. There were goodies in the Women Center ( cupcakes and other treats) that were awaiting us after our walk.

Breast Cancer Walk 10-21

We want to give a big thanks to everyone who showed support and came out participated!

Carrying The Weight Together

 

Many of you heard about Emma Sulkowicz, and her art project / protest in regards to how her sexual assault charges were handled at Columbia University.  She walked around campus carrying an XL mattress because her attacker was never removed from the campus, and soon others joined her to help carry the mattress (the burden of being sexual assaulted). If you have not  heard about it, check it out here. It is really amazing what we as people can do when we stand together, and support one another. 

This is why Carrying the Weight Together is so amazing! On Oct. 29th,  those who are apart of college community are encouraged to grab a mattress and stand together in an effort to show support for those who have experienced sexual assault and domestic violence.