by: Samia Warsame
Created in October 1997, Turn off the Violence is a sponsored week all over the campuses across the country that helps to end domestic violence against women and honor the victims of domestic abuse. According to the George Mason University website, during the week, there are different activities that educate students about the dangers of domestic abuse and how to report them correctly.
One of the activities is The Clothespin Project, where people decorate t-shirts to honor victims and break the silence surrounding these crimes. It’s an educational tool for the community, a healing tool for survivors, and a reminder to victims that they are not alone. Another activity in Turn off The Violence Week is The White Ribbon Campaign. Founded in 1991, it encourages men to work to end violence against women. The campaign and its efforts to educate men and boys have spread globally. By wearing a white ribbon men visibly demonstrate their pledge to “never commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women and girls,” according to whiteribbon.com.
One activity that is quite popular in Turn off The Violence Week is Take Back the Night. It was first started in 1975; Take Back the Night features a rally, followed by a march and a candlelight vigil honoring the deaths of women by the hands of domestic abuse. According to Take Back the Night’s foundation website, early marches were often deliberately women-only in order to symbolize women’s individual walk through darkness. After much criticism, men were allowed to participate in marches alongside women.
Counselor and Interact co-sponsor Gloria Rubin, and says Turn off the Violence “is a great idea and it’s very important for women to know that they could get help if they are in these situations.” She also said that her college didn’t have a Turn off the Violence week, “But I wish there was, because domestic violence has been a problem for a long time.”