SHARON, Pa. — Penn State Shenango will host a program titled “Breaking the Silence” from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29, in the campus’ Lecture Hall Gallery. The community is invited to this inaugural event to unmask one of society’s hidden secrets — intimate partner violence.
The event will include a hands-on activity, speakers who will share their personal stories, information tables, and light refreshments. Agencies scheduled to be in attendance include AWARE Inc. (Sharon), The Crisis Shelter (New Castle), Someplace Safe (Warren, Ohio), and Sojourner House (Youngstown, Ohio).
“This is the first time that the Shenango campus will host an event dedicated to this topic,” said Miranda Hayes, event coordinator. “But we hope that it will not be the last!”
Hayes, a fall 2019 graduate of the Penn State Human Development and Family Studies program, was a student intern at the Shenango campus when she was presented the opportunity to follow her passion and organize the event. Her hope is to get people talking about this very serious issue.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, domestic violence is experienced by 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men.
One of Hayes’ goals for the event is to bring awareness to what intimate partner violence is — in all of its forms. Another goal is to reduce the stigma associated with asking for help.
“When most people hear the words 'domestic violence' or 'intimate partner violence,' they immediately think of a man hitting a woman, but it’s so much more than that,” said Hayes.
For more information, contact Penn State Shenango Student Affairs at 724-983-2836. For information on intimate partner violence or domestic violence, contact the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence at www.ncadv.org.