In Their Shoes used to teach students about domestic violence

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In Their Shoes used to teach students about domestic violence

Gretchen Kalar

Gretchen Kalar

Gretchen Kalar

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In Their Shoes was an interactive event sponsored by the Office of Community Outreach and Volunteer Services, the Women’s and Gender Center, and Branches Domestic Violence Shelter, which took place Thursday, Oct. 18 in BE5 of Marshall University’s Memorial Student Center.  The event dealt with domestic violence and education about the issue.

“This is different from most events on campus,” Claire Snyder, program coordinator of the Women’s and Gender Center, said.

Students were given a card that had a scenario on it. Each card gave a piece of information of what happened next in the scenario, and some cards gave two options for students to choose the next move in their path. Branches provided all scenarios from a kit, except for one which was written by Sara Blevins, director of development and her student intern Ashley Arther, a junior psychology major.

The scenarios had students stopping at stations labeled legal, friend and family, housing and others. Volunteers were at each station to walk students through the cards and choices they had.

The last card of the scenario written by Blevins and Arther stated, “I was lucky in this situation…Some people in domestic violence relationships never get out of them. I don’t like thinking about what have happened if I didn’t find help, but I know that it could have cost my life.”

Once students were complete with their path they were invited to sit and debrief with Amber Ross, case manager for Branches, and Stacey Sexton, victim advocate for Contact Rape Crisis Center. Ross and Sexton encouraged students to talk about what happened in their scenario. Student participants had a chance to hear about other scenarios and the problem students ran into while on their journey.

One student mentioned how they did not realize what all falls under the umbrella of domestic violence. Another talked about how her family did not help her character in the scenario.

Macie Majoy, first year criminal justice major, talked about what the event meant to her.

“Learning the realities that this is an actual thing,” Majoy said. “People don’t realize that this happens all around the world. I feel terrible to those that it happens to.”

Cat Watson, sophomore secondary education major, was a volunteer at the event.

“I hope that students know that there are resources,” Watson said. “There are other people who are going through similar stuff and they are not alone out there.”

Gretchen Kalar can be contacted at [email protected]

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