This October marks the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). In dedication to this, Bellevue College is hosting several events for the student body to take part in.
Oct. 11, 12-2pm — Pick up your ribbon!
Come visit Val Tovar by the fountain as she hands out purple ribbons in support of domestic violence survivors on campus.
Oct. 12, 11:30-1:30pm — Dear Survivor Notes
Located at the Social Justice Center (RM B207), come write a note of encouragement to survivors on campus. Throughout this month, the notes will be placed around campus along with support information for survivors.
Oct. 20, All Day — Purple Thursday!
Wear a shade of purple to support domestic violence survivors.
Find more information about the events above here.
Val Tovar, BC’s campus grant project director and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) prevention coordinator took on the task of organizing these events for the Bulldog community: “Since this is my first year at BC, I wanted to bring some events where students can connect with the BC community and learn more about ways we can get involved with prevention on campus,” she shared. Tovar has also been working closely alongside the Coordinated Care Response Team (CCRT), resulting in “programs and training for students including topics around bystander intervention for multiple situations on campus, relationship health and boundary setting,” according to Consuelo Grier, vice president of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion department. Students will receive information regarding these training opportunities in the coming weeks.
When asked about what she would like the student body to take away from this month’s events, Tovar noted that “this year, I wanted to focus on healthy relationships, awareness and ways students can support each other if they know someone who is impacted by domestic violence. My hope is for students to be able to identify when any relationship is not okay, how to get support, and encourage survivors on campus that they are not alone.”
BC’s goal with this month’s events “is for students to take in information about domestic violence prevention in order to create a change on campus. If we want to be a campus that cares about each other, we need to be able to learn what care looks like,” Tovar said. Grier emphasized that, “Domestic violence affects everyone on campus, and it is important for everyone on campus to know the signs of abuse, how to respond if someone they care about is reaching out, and resources available to heal. If we want to be a community that cares, taking the step to engage in education to minimize harm is a great first step.”
The events are to give students the chance to “engage in fun activities which connect them to others on campus and give them some ways they can support those they care about on campus. Additionally, we want survivors or those who are in abusive situations to find the support they need and resources that minimizes harm, not adds to it. Throughout the month, there will be postings online and flyers on campus with information for people looking for support or resources. And sharing resources is highly encouraged!” Tovar concluded.
But how can the Bulldogs help those in need? Tovar answered that, “Students can learn about healthy relationships like green flags and understand how to identify abusive or unhealthy behaviors in relationships. You can learn more by engaging in programs, going to our website for more information and materials, and by requesting a program for your student organization or class!” Grier acknowledged that, “We can learn how to respond in trauma-informed ways, accessibly share resources, and advocate for specific resources on campus for Black, Indigenous, survivors of color, and other special populations who face multiple challenges in reaching out for support.” If finding support is challenging, Tovar suggests students to visit the GBV Prevention website “for some resource information in your area.”
Considering the events and resources BC has planned and shared, Grier added that, “this way students can be aware of how this issue impacts our campus and learn ways to be supportive to their peers. Additionally, if students wear their purple ribbon all month, they can use it as a conversation starter to share what they learn with their friends. Our hope is for students to continue to engage after October and grow in their learning as they continue to attend BC.”
But BC is not done with domestic violence awareness after this year. Grier shared that, “we are proud to have received a second, three-year grant to continue to support our GBVP work.”
If you, or anyone you know is in such a situation, please reach out for help and consider using the following resources:
National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800-799-7233)
Washington Domestic Violence Programs
For Bellevue College GBV Prevention related updates and more information, follow the Bellevue College Gender-Based Violence Prevention Instagram.