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Be the Voice to End Violence

By Alexis Myers
On April 15, 2013

  • Courtesy of thekey.xpn.org

Plymouth State University's campus is considered to be a safe place to live, work, and stroll around. However, the reality in all communities large or small is that sexual assault, dating violence, sexual harassment, stalking and hate violence exists and can occur anywhere and at any time.  

Voices Against Violence, also called Voices, is a nonprofit off-campus organization designed to provide information and support to victims of sexual/domestic violence, and harassment, stalking, and bullying.

 The month of April has been designated Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) in the United States. The goal  of this month is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities on how to prevent sexual violence.

"Studies show that the first six weeks of a young woman's college career is when she is most likely to be the victim of sexual violence," said VAV Volunteer freshman Christina Behr.

Voices Against Violence is a fully confidential organization that Plymouth State partners with to break the cycle of violence by providing comprehensive services for all victims and survivors.

"Voices responds when they are called for a sexual assault on campus, but they are an independent organization that is part of a statewide coalition of crisis centers. Voices serves 14 towns in lower Grafton County," said PSU Professor and Voices Member of the Board of Directors Robin DeRosa

Voices Against Violence (VAV) Organization provides information and support to victims and survivors, their family and friends, community members, sexual or domestic violence, harassment, stalking, and bullying. 

The Clothesline Project is coming to Plymouth's Town Common on Main Street on April 19, 2013, "The Clothesline Project is an annual event put on by Voices Against Violence that addresses violence against women. It gives the women a chance to anonymously express their emotions, and for non-victims to help raise awareness on domestic violence," said Behr

A clothesline is drawn along Main Street with Tee shirts designed to end domestic and sexual violence. Personal stories are written on the shirts, and signatures of student organizations, "Voices is proud to bring this event to Plymouth and to surrounding times on a yearly basis," said DeRosa.

"For help, folks can call our hotline or stop in to the office above Chase Street," said DeRosa.

An advocate from Voices Against Violence (877) 221-6167 is available 24 hours a day to support and guide victims with all their questions, concerns, and needs. 

Voices can help students with treatments, assist with emergency medical services, and guide and support victims throughout the University judicial process. The organization also helps students get back on track academically, and try to resolve absence and/or assignment and other course issues. They will also provide other campus resources and services to students depending on the situation.

"I didn't know that there would be this much support for me when I left. Victims need to know people will listen, believe them, and offer whatever they can do to help. It is only with strong community support that we are able to help the many victims in our area and end the cycle of violence," stated a Voices Advocate.

Voices Against Violence is committed to educating, advocating, and supporting college students affected by violence. To find out more information visit http://voicesagainstviolence.net/ or call the organization at (603)-536-3423.


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