The Silent Witness Project display stands in Talley Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. The project is a memorial to victims of domestic and dating violence. Each witness carries a plaque with the story of an individual who was murdered as a result of domestic and dating violence.

Editor’s Note: This article contains content related to domestic violence.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month across the nation, and NC State’s Women’s Center is holding several events throughout the month to support survivors and assist in healing and community building. 

Carlyn Wright-Eakes, the interpersonal-violence prevention education coordinator of the Women's Center, explained the importance of the awareness month.

“[It is] a nationally recognized event to honor survivors, pay homage to victims, as well as bring awareness to prevention efforts,” Wright-Eakes said.

Domestic violence, or intimate-partner violence, is defined as “physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to Wright-Eakes, due to COVID-19, these rates have spiked because of an increase in isolation and a change in resources available. 

Wright-Eakes said the center is putting on events through October to increase a sense of community and belonging among students. 

“We have a whole calendar of events,” Wright-Eakes said. “We are really looking at ways to center community and healing, especially because of the past year. Lots of students feel increased isolation, so these events are ways to engage in community and healing, finding belonging and promoting mental health.”

Charlotte Rogers, a fourth-year studying communication and president of The Movement Peer Educators, said there are upcoming workshops that focus on interpersonal violence that many people can benefit from attending.

“Scheduled workshops such as Healthy Relationships 101 and Relax, Relate, Release: Healing with Purpose, as well as Interpersonal and Sexual Violence in the GLBT Community, [are] great for everyone to learn about the ways interpersonal violence touches on folks,” Rogers said.

The Movement Peer Educators is a group who are trained in protection against interpersonal violence through education, advocacy and action. 

Rogers also said the Women's Center is working on physical exhibits such as “The Silent Witness Project” and a student vision wall located in Talley Student Union. The vision wall’s theme, according to Rogers, is “imagine a world without sexual violence,” and students are encouraged to write their visions on sticky notes and post them on the wall located outside of the Women's Center.

“Currently we are showcasing ‘The Silent Witness Project,’ an in-person exhibit where we honor individuals who have been victim and passed due to domestic violence this year,” Rogers said.

Wright-Eakes also suggests that students utilize their second annual coloring book, “The Colors of Healing.” According to the Women's Center website, “Many survivors of interpersonal violence find healing and recovery through grounding practices of mindfulness and artistic expression.” 

The coloring book from last year is currently available and submissions for this year’s book are open until the end of the semester.

Students who need the services offered by the center are encouraged to reach out to ncsuadvocate@ncsu.edu to make an appointment with a trained professional or call the 24/7 Sexual Assault Helpline at 919-515-4444. 

There are many resources available to students and faculty which can be found on the Women’s Center website.