Alpha Chi Omega holds domestic violence awareness event

By Taliyah Clark | Reporter

Alpha Chi Omega encouraged students to “Break the Silence” with an awareness campaign and activities on Fountain Mall Tuesday night.

According to a 2015 USNews statistical report, domestic violence, or intimate partner violence, is defined as a pattern of abusive behavior in which someone uses physical, mental, sexual or other types of violence against a partner, spouse or relative. The report also states that someone experiences physical abuse every 60 seconds, and women between the age of 18 to 24 are most likely to suffer abuse at the hands of their current or former partner.

To combat this issue of violence, Alpha Chi Omega became the first sorority to bring awareness to the issue of domestic violence, according to the Baylor Alpha Chi Omega website. Its outreach includes assisting victims and educating the surrounding community about domestic violence. The Baylor chapter of Alpha Chi Omega works closely with the Waco Family Abuse Center by helping the organization serve the residents there and fundraising to purchase essential items for the center.

Students wrote notes of encouragement for domestic violence survivors on a banner. Photo credit: Jessica Hubble

The activities for the night included stomping out domestic violence with bubble wrap, Steel City Pops donating 20 percent of their proceeds to the Waco Family Abuse Center, pie-an-alpha chi, and paint darts. Attendees also wrote letters to domestic violence survivors.

Many members of Alpha Chi Omega came out to support the cause, including Atlanta junior Lilla Dorvee, vice president of philanthropy for Alpha Chi Omega.

“I chose to lead this committee because Alpha Chi is important to me, and I really wanted to be involved in a leadership opportunity,” Dorvee said. “Our philanthropy is such a big part of our sorority, and having a part in making it so impactful and making it something that is not so scary to talk about was important to me.”

San Francisco, Calif., senior Gabriella Scalise, a member of Alpha Chi Omega, also spoke about her sorority’s role in promoting domestic violence awareness.

“Domestic violence is so important because it is so prevalent, but most people don’t know what it is and you never really know who it affects,” Scalise said. “I love Alpha Chi because we are real, strong women; that’s who we are and that is our motto, and we want to encourage great friendships and relationships.”

Tomball junior Belle Bressler gets pied in the face by a friend at Alpha Chi Omega’s “Break the Silence” event on Fountain Mall. Photo credit: Jessica Hubble

Spartanburg, S.C., junior Clara Ruth West, an Alpha Chi Omega member, spoke candidly about the reality of domestic violence and why it is important to talk about.

“Obviously with the current happenings at Baylor, domestic violence is a reality, and what a better way to address it by talking about it,” West said. “Since it is a reality, I think people should be aware of it, for victims who have experienced [domestic violence], it’s important for them to know they are not alone and to know that there are lot of people and organizations are working to eliminate it.”

Ponce, Puerto Rico, senior Daniel Goyco, an attendee of the event, also highlighted the need for domestic violence awareness in light the recent sexual assault lawsuits against Baylor.

“This is my second year coming to this event, and I think it is something that is really important especially with the Baylor headlines recently,” Goyco said. “Last year, I was a Title IX peer leader, and I got to talk to freshman about different scenarios and things they may encounter and how to react when things happen.”