Online Exclusive: Women for Women “Light U.P. the Night” with walk for domestic violence.

By Kristen Halsey

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women – more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. About every nine seconds, a woman is assaulted in the United States.

Nearly one in five teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend treated violence or self harm if presented with a breakup.

On Monday a candlelight walk was held in awareness for domestic violence. The event was put on by Women for Women, a student organization on campus.

Brittney Berry, a sophomore hospitality management major, is one of three presidents in the organization.
“Its domestic violence awareness month and we wanted to bring more awareness to the campus in the first semester,” Berry said.

Women for Women is a student organization which promotes education, service, and leadership . They bring attention to issues concerning sexuality, health, civil rights, and many other important issues concerning issues with society today throughout the world.

Some of the causes Women for Women are involved with are awareness for childhood cancer and improving self-esteem. This week they wanted to draw more attention on the problem with domestic violence.

“I was told about the group during freshmen orientation and I wanted to get more information because it really interested me,” Berry said.

The walk starts in the Payne/ Halverson court yard and the predicted path is walk out by the Physical Instruction and Education Facility (PIEF) and Berry Events center and through a side street to walk into the neighborhood.

Once they get to the final location people gather in groups and share stories about their experiences with domestic violence and some statistics about domestic violence are mentioned.

“It’s very informative and a great experience to hear people’s stories and what they have to share. We’ve gone up in numbers quite a bit for people who attend,” Berry said.

Angela Barber, a junior arts and design major with a concentration in jewelry and medals, is a co-resident to the organization and excited to participate in the event.

“I love the organization and the people involved are great and this was something brought to us the year before and we went to it last year. It was such a amazing turnout we wanted to bring it back again this year,” Barber said.

This year Women for Women are hoping to get more of the community involved in the candlelight walk. To get the community more involved the walk will include some streets throughout the neighborhood.

“We chose to bring more attention to the root of the cause in domestic violence and go out into the neighborhood area,” Barber said. “By bringing it out into the community we are hoping for the possibility that the lights will join in and join us so we can bring even more attention to it.”

One of the most exciting things for the event, according to Barber, is the trail of lights that you see throughout the walk.

“The thing I look forward to the most is looking back and seeing the trail of students behind walking for the cause. A lot of people have a passion for spreading awareness,” Barber said. “It’s amazing and takes your breath away too see all the light. Also, being able to see the lights leading back where you started; it’s amazing.”

The candlelight walk is not the only event that Women for Women are hosting this year.

There will also be a softball tournament and costume contest. Instead of the event only being held for one day, this year it will be a weekend event on October 29th and 30th.

All proceeds this year are going to the Children’s Museum.

The softball tournament will take place at the soccer field across from the Jacobetti Center and times are yet to be determined.

People interested in going and not playing in the tournament may be interested in participating in either the costume contests or the home run derby to win prizes.

Border Grill will also be selling food at the event.

For more information about upcoming events with Women for Women or to get more involved with the organization you can email at [email protected] or contact Justine Samek at 630-306-4817 or e-mail her at [email protected].