October 12, 2012

Hawkins Hall to be lit up purple

PLATTSBURGH — Purple lights will illuminate Hawkins Hall the week of Sunday, Oct. 14, to commemorate the Shine the Light on Domestic Violence campaign.

The campaign is promoted by the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence.

STOP Domestic Violence and Behavioral Health Services North Inc. of Plattsburgh have been organizing events to raise awareness of domestic violence in the North Country for more than 10 years.

“Shining the light on domestic violence is one way that the community can see that this is an important issue that needs to be addressed,”  Susan Kelley, program director of STOP Domestic Violence, said in a news release.

SUNY Plattsburgh’s Department of Gender and Women’s Studies is campus co-sponsor of this initiative and will be hosting events for the Shine the Light campaign.

“Although this is the first year that purple lights will shine on Hawkins Hall, both students and staff have participated in many efforts and events during the last three decades,” Kelley said.

“This is another way to strengthen our campus-community connections. Intimate-partner violence isn’t just on campus or just in the community.”

Dr. Simona Sharoni, who chairs the Women’s Studies Department, agreed.

“We cannot respond to this problem by simply focusing on providing support to survivors and holding perpetrators accountable,” she said in a statement. “We must change the culture that gives some people a sense that violence against women and children is acceptable.”

SUNY Plattsburgh’s Department of Social Work and STOP Domestic Violence will also host a community forum with guest speaker J. Garland Waller, who produced the documentary “No Way Out But One,” about the life and custody issues of domestic-violence survivor Holly Collins and her family. Waller will speak from 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, in room 208, Yokum Lecture Hall.

“We hope that members of our community, students, faculty and staff, will use the campaign to jump-start a comprehensive program to make the campus safer for everyone,” Sharoni said.

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