The Baker Orange

Alpha Chi Omega raises domestic violence awareness

Story by Courtney Colin

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Pastel-colored facts about domestic violence line the walkways around campus. The chalk fades a little every night, but the words continue to make an impact. “Somewhere in the U.S. a woman is raped every two minutes,” one reads. “Every day, at least three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the U.S.,” another states in bold letters.

The messages left by members of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority reflect their goal to raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence during the month dedicated to that purpose.

“It shakes you up a little to hear the statistics,” Vice President of Fraternity Relations Stephanie Brockmann said. “It could happen to anyone.”

Since women who flee their homes and abusive partners often leave things behind, Brockmann, a senior, said Alpha Chi Omega raises money during philanthropy events in order to stock Women's Transitional Care Services with blankets, school items for their children and anything else that helps the fallen women back to their feet. <br/>Although members of her sorority do not work directly with victims of abuse, Brockmann hopes their donations of time and money will assist the abused in starting a new life.Although members of her sorority do not work directly with victims of abuse, Brockmann hopes their donations of time and money will assist the abused in starting a new life.
Although members of her sorority do not work directly with victims of abuse, Brockmann hopes their donations of time and money will assist the abused in starting a new life.

“I think it’s a great cause,” Brockmann said. “Knowing that something you’re doing is helping someone else makes you feel good.”

With an extensive background in community service, Brockmann hopes she can work with her sorority sisters to “go above and beyond” what they have accomplished in the past.

Alpha Chi Omega recently partnered with Peer Educators and the GaDuGi SafeCenter in Lawrence to string up its “Pantyline Project” in order to focus attention on both sexual abuse and domestic violence.

“We’re still a group in the making, but I think we’ll be able to have an impact,” junior Peer Educators president Emily Hoehn said. “Many people know that domestic violence exists, but they don’t know the facts. People underestimate the power of raising awareness.”

As a member of Alpha Chi Omega, Hoehn said Peer Educators is better-rounded with regard to social issues, while the sorority’s philanthropy is more specifically focused on domestic violence. Through her work in both, Hoehn found the core theme in all situations stemmed from the desire to be cared for.

“People just want that sense of love in their life, and sometimes they can’t leave, no matter the situation,” Hoehn said.

Just as being greek provides Hoehn with a support system, safe centers give battered individuals the same acceptance.

“Safe centers bring women together and connect them with people who love, care and understand,” Hoehn said. “I think it has a huge impact.”

Whether trying to educate the vulnerable about how to prevent becoming a part of the statistics, or supporting the women who already are, members of Alpha Chi Omega and Peer Educators continue to work to develop hope for a better life.

“There’s always room to do more in the future,” Brockmann said.