This post has been reposted on behalf of UMBC's Women Center. Original Post
Relationship Violence Awareness Month (RVAM) brings people together to create and generate discussion and skill-building on how to prevent relationship violence in our schools, workplaces, and communities. While providing support and care to survivors of relationship violence is an everyday action, this awareness month also carves out intentional moments to honor and believe survivors’ stories and experiences. As we continue this work throughout the pandemic, it is also critical for us to consider how the intersections of covid-19 and social isolation have exacerbated relationship violence over the past several months.
Since most of campus remains learning and working remotely, we won’t be able to physically come together this October to do this critical work in person. The Women’s Center and all of our campus partners including the Office of Equity and Inclusion, University Health Services, the Counseling Center, Green Dot, We Believe You, and Retriever Courage, and more will nonetheless continue to promote awareness and prevention this month.
We are inviting our UMBC community to join our efforts.
Learn - Throughout the month of October, the Women’s Center will be focusing on various topics and issues related to relationship violence awareness and prevention. Key themes we will be exploring include: The Covid-Crossings of Relationship Violence, Relationship Violence’s Matrix of Oppression, and Un/Healthy Relationships for Young Adults.
We’ll be sharing weekly postings to help guide your self-learning that will include relevant webinars or events, podcasts or blogs, and on and off-campus resources. Follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) to engage in this content for learning and skill-building. Leave us comments or ask questions.
All undergraduate and graduate students are required to complete mandatory annual student training that addresses UMBC's policies around sexual and gender based violence from the Office of Equity and Inclusion by November 1st!
Witness - Last April, the Women’s Center in partnership with survivors created a zine in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The stories, the poems, and images are timeless and are relevant today as they were in April. Please help us bear witness to the experiences of survivors by reading Survivors to the Front: A Call to Witness. We will also reshare images from our virtual Clothesline Project and post images from past Clothesline Project displays hosted on campus.
Come Together - The We Believe You discussion group meets weekly on Wednesdays at 4pm. Survivors of power-based violence are welcomed to join this virtual community hosted by the Women’s Center with support from the We Believe You student org. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on how you can join this virtual discussion. The We Believe You student org also hosts General Body Meetings. Follow their myUMBC page or email them at email@example.com for more information. Aspiring allies and survivors are also invited to join the work of the Inclusion Council by expressing their interest to be a part of the sexual misconduct workgroup.
Stay tuned to our myUMBC page for other events or webinars we may promote throughout the month hosted by our campus and/or off-campus partners.
Additionally, throughout this time of distance learning, campus staff are still here and available for support.
Do not hesitate to reach out for questions, concerns, or care.
On-Campus Resources Available for Virtual Support:
To report a complaint of sexual misconduct or discrimination, please submit this online form.
TurnAround, Inc. Helpline (Available 24/7): 443-279-0379; Office: 410-377-8111
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 24/7, confidential and free: 1-800-799-7233 and through chat.
The National Sexual Assault Hotline is 24/7, confidential and free: 800-656-HOPE (4673) and through chat.
Additional Maryland resources are available via OEI’s website
Visit Retriever Courage for a more extensive list of off-campus resources and support
Follow the Women’s Center on myUMBC, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for RVAM updates and information throughout the month of October.