With March being Women’s History Month, Bellevue College’s various student programs will be commemorating the achievements of women in the past and present through different events and information tables. BC’s Counseling Center honored Women’s History Month by raising awareness about domestic violence through information tables in the cafeteria.
On March 11, members of BC’s Counseling Center and other representatives around the Bellevue community shared reading material about domestic violence and counseling services.
At the table, BC faculty counselor Timothy Burdick explained the benefits of counseling and how it can significantly help students achieve their goals both academically and personally.
“The counseling center is set up for students that are struggling through all sorts of academic and personal issues. Often times students feel isolated in this void and they don’t have anyone to reach out to,” said Burdick.
The counseling center is a free and confidential service equipped with trained counselors and psychologists. Among the pamphlets and packets of literature spread across the table was a packet entitled “Relationship Red Flags,” which listed various signs of an abusive relationship.
Faculty counselor Belle Nishioka explained, “sometimes students don’t know that they’re in an abusive relationship because they believe abuse can only be physical, but there are many different types of abuse.” In addition to physical abuse, sexual, psychological, emotional and economic abuse are all distinct types of domestic violence.
The counseling center also extends these services for domestic violence beyond just women. “We realize that a lot of times men are also victims of domestic violence too,” said Burdick.
The counseling center is a place where students can speak with a counselor confidentially to begin the process of getting out of their abusive relationship and get the help that they need.
Counselors are prepared with a number of exercises made to help students understand the steps needed to begin the healing process.
“The Equality Wheel,” counselor Nishioka explained, “is a graph that shows some components of a healthy relationship.” On this wheel, there are different components such as willingness to negotiate and fairness, honesty, accountability and nonthreatening behavior.
Faculty counselor Yu-ting Su shared, “I would like to use this month to show students that this is a common issue and to educate them about abuse.”
Besides domestic violence, the counseling center also handles other issues.
Counselors are trained to help with a wide range of problems such as academic counseling, career counseling and short-term personal counseling to support students around common issues such as anxiety, depression and cultural transitions.
The counselors also teach a variety of Human Development credit classes that are designed to help students who face these stressful scenarios both on campus and at home. Among them are Stress Management, Understanding Personal Relationships and Motivation and Empowerment.
The counseling center is located on the second floor of the B building just above the bookstore. The counseling center is open Monday through Friday.
Additional information is located on the Bellevue College website.