One in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and most domestic violence cases are never reported, according to the N.C. State Women’s Center website.
Each October, college campuses across the country host These Hands Don’t Hurt demonstrations in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The N.C. State Women’s Center holds the event annually to educate students about the growing number of cases of domestic violence on college campuses.
“We’re seeing an increase in the number of relationship-violence situations on campus,” said Jenn Scott, assistant director of Interpersonal Violence Service for the Women’s Center. “We want to show those affected by domestic violence that there are people out there who care, and that’s not what the Pack is about.”
The center hosted its demonstration Thursday on the Brickyard to raise awareness about the problem. It encouraged students to sign a pledge to never commit acts of domestic violence.
Students covered their palms in paint and then placed them on a canvas to show their support for the pledge.
During the event, members of the center handed out educational information about the prevalence of this in college relationships and offered students purple ribbons to signify the fight against the violence.
Trenton McNeill, a senior in political science at N.C. State, joined the demonstration and put his handprint on a canvas, which will be hung in D.H. Hill library for the remainder of the month.
“Participating brings about more awareness to this problem,” McNeill said. “It shows not only that we care, but that we’re supporting the fight against it.”
Otis McGresham, coordinator for Rape Prevention Education of the Women’s Center, said that the program has an impact.
“The use of handprints on a canvas engages students because it’s more than just signing a name to a petition,” McGresham said. “It draws students in and gives them something tangible they’ve accomplished.”
McGresham said the program is designed to engage the entire community at N.C. State by providing a visual representation of the magnitude of students who pledge against domestic violence.
“The community creates the program,” McGresham said. “People passing by the canvas will be impacted by the students from their community who have taken a stand.”
These Hands Don’t Hurt is just one of the organization’s efforts to solve this problem.
The N.C. State Women’s Center provides short-term counseling for both women and men on campus. Students effected by domestic violence or rape can visit the Women’s Center or call the 24-hour hotline at 919-618-RAPE.