EMU confronts domestic violence in the U.S.

A bell chimed every ten seconds in room 310 of the Student Center from Monday through Wednesday. Each chime signified a woman being battered in the U.S.

Every 90 seconds a gong sounded, symbolizing a woman being raped.

The display was put on by Eastern Michigan University’s Women’s Resource Center to bring attention to the issue of violence against women. The art exhibit included poetry and art from survivors, art done by the children who witnessed it and art done by the assailants themselves.

The exhibit displayed everything from shirts raising awareness to graphic artwork to poetry, including work by Maya Angelou.

“Everybody reacts to violence and to trauma in different ways,” said Ellen Lassiter Collier, the Program Coordinator at the Women’s Resource Center. “If someone were to say that the most common reaction is X, Y, Z, then people start to believe that if someone doesn’t react that way, then it isn’t true or it’s not as traumatic for people but that's not the case.”

A major intention of the display was to identify the common excuses justifying abuse and methods of abuse. Excuses such as “nagging,” temper, drug abuse or alcoholism. There are also less subtle methods of abuse, including intimidation, economic abuse and isolation.

The abusive person often places blame for their action on the survivors. Some abusers go as far as not letting their significant others have jobs, control the only vehicle in the relationship, go through their phones to monitor communication or control the survivor’s bank account.

According to the exhibit, 13 percent of college women also report being stalked, mostly by boyfriends or ex-boyfriends.

If you are the subject of domestic violence, or know someone who is, you have several options available on campus. The Women’s Resource Center is located at room 356 in the Student Center. The Safe House Center has on call services, legal help and medical care. They can be reached at 734-995-5444. EMU’s Department of Public Safety, located behind the Towers Marketplace, is also available for help.

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