Here are available resources for domestic violence awareness month. Photo courtesy of EAC Network.
CASSANDRA STEC | STAFF REPORTER | firstname.lastname@example.org
The month of October is a month of celebration and education for many different causes, ranging as widely as disability employment awareness and breast cancer awareness. One of the causes designated to the month of October is domestic violence awareness.
Both Butler, as well as the surrounding Indianapolis area, have a variety of resources for students who are experiencing domestic violence, or know someone who needs help.
Reagan Markland, a sophomore entrepreneurship and innovation and marketing double major, said she thinks National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is important because domestic and intimate partner violence are usually taboo subjects, but are nevertheless critical social justice issues.
“It’s also one that I think can be very private because it happens typically within the home or within relationships so it can be easily gone unseen,” Markland said. “So dedicating a month of the year to specifically raise awareness of it is a good way to break the taboo and get people educated in seeing the signs before they get too bad, hopefully.”
Brooke Blevins, a senior human communication and organizational leadership major, said she has learned a lot about domestic violence awareness since coming to Butler. She has also helped organize fundraisers for the Julian Center, a domestic violence shelter in Indianapolis.
“I’ve seen the really hard impact survivors have from experiencing domestic violence,” Blevins said. “So I think an entire month dedicated to spreading awareness, educating people on what healthy relationships look like and knowing the signs of [a] possibly abusive relationship is really important so that we all can keep each other safe and spread awareness in general for those who are experiencing that.”
Jules Arthur-Grable, Butler’s sexual assault response and prevention specialist, said she believes that while domestic violence can be a hard issue to discuss, it is both solvable and preventable.
“We know statistically speaking that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime,” Arthur-Grable said. “It’s just profound numbers. But this is a problem that we can fix, we can prevent it. Raising awareness and letting folks know what they can do to prevent it is super important and why we recognize it every October.”
Below is a list of both on and off-campus resources, as well as what each resource can offer survivors and those seeking to help them.
Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Office
The SARP office is available to any student who has been a survivor of domestic violence, partner abuse, sexual assault or stalking. When cases are reported to the SARP specialist, they have an obligation to report the type of case, date, time and location with Butler. The specialist will not, however, share names with Butler without the consent of the student involved. The office is located in the Health and Recreation Complex in room 119. The SARP office’s hours are from Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and they can be reached at 312-940-2047.
The SARP office offers programs throughout the year, as well as every October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Their programs range from prevention to defining what domestic violence is, discussing the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships and examining how those relationships are portrayed in popular culture.
Arthur-Grable said programming for October is directly taken from student feedback with the intention of engaging students to learn about difficult topics, and also teach them how to apply lessons on domestic violence prevention to their everyday lives.
“We know students want to know how to support someone and we know if a survivor is going to reach out [to anyone,] they’re much more likely to reach out to a friend,” Arthur-Grable said. “We’re also doing a simulation as our last event in October where students get to walk in the shoes of someone who is experiencing intimate partner violence and see what sort of decisions and choices they have to make and what kind of things prevent them from leaving the relationships — what challenges and hurdles they might have in dealing with the abuse.”
The last two October events the SARP office will be hosting are a “How to Help a Friend” workshop on Thursday, Oct. 22 at noon via Zoom and an “In Their Shoes” simulation on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 8:00 p.m. via Zoom.
Counseling and Consultation Services – CCS
Butler’s Counseling and Consultation Services, or CCS, is a free and confidential service available for all currently enrolled Butler students. The office is located in the Health and Resource Center in room 120. CCS is open Monday through Friday. More information about this resource can be found through either calling the office at 317-940-9385 or visiting their website.
Health Services provides confidential medical care to students, including STI screenings and treatment, as well as contraception. However, it is important to note that Health Services cannot provide evidence collection services. Health Services charges students’ health insurance for any care provided and the copay for the care provided is billed onto the student’s Butler account. Health Services is also located in the HRC in room 110. They are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and can be reached either by calling 317-940-9385 or by going to their website.
Center for Faith and Vocation–CFV
The CFV is a confidential, free resource for students who are seeking pastoral or meditative counseling provided by a member of ordained clergy. They are located at the Blue House at 4615 Sunset Ave. The CFV can either be reached by phone at 317-940-8252 or through emailing Daniel Meyers at email@example.com. Their website can be found here.
Off Campus Resources
Centers of Hope
Centers of Hope are hospitals staffed by sexual assault nurse examiners and provide confidential, free medical assistance and evidence collection. There are two locations in which Centers of Hope operate near Butler: St. Vincent Hospital, located at 2001 W. 86th St., and IU Methodist Hospital, located at 1701 N. Senate Ave. The St. Vincent location can be contacted via 317-338-3756 while the IU Methodist location can be contacted via 317-962-4673.
The Julian Center is one of two rape crisis centers near Butler. The center’s primary focus is assisting those who have experienced sexual violence, domestic violence and stalking, while helping survivors achieve long-term safety, stability and self-sufficiency. Some of the center’s confidential and free services include having survivors meet with trained advocates to receive trauma counseling, legal services, case management assistance and art therapy. The center is located at 2011 N. Meridian St. and can be reached at 317-920-9320.
Families First is a local agency that provides confidential, free services and support to survivors of sexual violence. Some of their services include advocacy, emotional support, support for loved ones, safety planning and court advocacy. Advocates at Families First are trained to provide support to all survivors, and have been specially trained to work with the LGBTQ+ community and male survivors. Their services can also be provided in Spanish. Families First is located at 2240 N. Meridian St. and can be reached at 317-634-6341. Their 24-hour crisis line is 317-251-7575.
The Legacy House provides confidential, free trauma counseling and advocacy to those who have experienced violence. Some of their services include crisis intervention, individual and family counseling, courtroom support, shelter and social service referrals. They are located at 2505 N. Arlington Ave. and reached at 317-554-5272.
Markland said she thinks it’s especially important to discuss and share resources regarding domestic and intimate partner violence, as domestic violence cases are skyrocketing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Now more than ever is a really important time to be paying attention to warning signs and seeking help if you need it,” Markland said. “Domestic violence is something that can get really out of hand quickly and go from something you can kinda push off as ‘oh it’s not a big deal it was a one-time thing’ and then all of a sudden it can change and get really bad.”