In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness (DVA) Month in October, our chapter of Alpha Chi Omega hosts a week-long campaign to raise awareness and funds. All proceeds from DVA Week support the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC).
For information about DVA Week 2011, including a schedule of events and information on how you can help us support the cause, go here!
Founded in 1973, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center has become the only rape crisis center in the greater Boston area. Through a 24-hour hotline, medical advocacy, legal services, counseling services, and educational groups, BARCC assists thousands of sexual violence survivors and their families, friends and communities each year. They also provide community awareness and prevention services through partnerships and training with organizations and communities.
BARCC also produces an awareness campaign through an art therapy known as the Clothesline Project. Throughout DVA Week, we display t-shirts from the Clothesline Project in Lobby 10. The Clothesline Project is "a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. They then hang the shirt on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of violence against women" (Clothesline Project). Most of the shirts on display tell the stories of women who have been raped or abused. We use the Clothesline Project along with flyers, posters, and other literature to raise awareness of domestic violence on campus and in the greater Boston community.
The central event of DVA Week is the candlelight vigil, which is held on the Student Center steps one evening. A volunteer from BARCC speaks to the MIT community about the realities of rape and to explain how individuals can seek help for themselves or their loved ones. The speaker also discusses strategies for being an active bystander in daily life. Afterwards, candles are lit on the Student Center steps in honor of the victims of rape and domestic violence.
In addition, Alpha Chi Omega sells carnations throughout the week. At the end of the week, carnations are tagged with any personal messages from the sender and delivered to all MIT dorms and FSILGs. The profits are donated to BARCC. Carnations can be purchased at our booth in Lobby 10 or online.
For more resources pertaining to domestic violence and rape, please visit:
- Boston Area Rape Crisis Center
- The Network/La Red: an LGBT-focused DVA organization
- Emerge Global: a non-profit organization founded by an MIT student that assists young Sri Lankan girls and women who have survived sexual abuse and rape
- National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: a national organization that provides information and help to victims of domestic violence
- Violence Prevention and Response (VPR):Provides help for individuals at MIT who are dealing with sexual assualt, intimate partner violence, stalking or unhealthy relationships