Posted on: October 12, 2022 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Photo by Marcus Collins

By Emma Gomez, News Editor

After receiving threatening phone calls from her ex-boyfriend in September 2007, Nailah Franklin went to the police and asked for a restraining order against him. He had a history of arrests for threatening violence with women.

Eleven days later, Franklin disappeared, and her body was found in the woods. Her ex-boyfriend was found guilty of murdering her.

Franklin’s story is a prime example of why Moraine Valley is choosing to shed light upon the issue of domestic violence this month. Her story is part of the Silent Witness Project, an exhibit consisting of life-sized red silhouettes of individuals murdered in acts of domestic violence.

The exhibit, on display through the end of October, is meant to spread awareness to the Moraine community to grieve the loss of human life and support for the victims. The silhouettes are on display in the FitRec, the library and Buildings U and D.

Photo by New York State Coalition against domestic violence

“We hope that the exhibit will encourage action to create change,” said Souzan Naser, a counselor and professor who is one of the organizers of the college’s events in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

In addition to the exhibit, Moraine Valley is holding discussions and programs throughout the month. The Counseling and Career Development Center, along with the Pillars Advocate team, hosted an event Wednesday about healthy relationships and all the aspects of what goes into them. The event provided advice and answered questions.

“Students were invited to play a game of spin the wheel that included a variety of scenarios related to the hook-up culture, identifying red flags in an intimate partner relationship, power and control in relationships, resources they could tap into for support, recognizing signs of stalking, and so much more,” Naser said.

“There were about 50 students in attendance, and valuable conversations ensued on physical and emotional safety and how to keep each other safe.”

On Friday, the Counseling and Career Development Center partnered with Anew to host a virtual one-hour workshop on the different dynamics of domestic violence. Anew is a hotline, website, and most importantly a safe space to get help when dealing with domestic violence.

Photo by Marcus Collins
The Silent Witness Project displays stories of victims of domestic violence.

During the event, participants learned about the services and programs that Anew offers, myths and facts about domestic violence, the types of abuse and warning signs of abuse.

Later this month, the center is hosting an event called “Domestic Violence 101” where participants will learn more about types of abuse, identify early warning signs, understand cycles of abuse and become an advocate to save lives in the future.

The event will take place in the library on Oct. 27 from 11-11:50 a.m.

“[We] have a proud history of honoring this month by organizing events on campus to raise awareness, educate, share resources and connect around these issues,” Naser said. “We want to cultivate a climate that encourages safety, trust, and the permission to talk openly and honestly about these issues.”

Moraine encourages students to use these resources and always speak up if you see something or need help. The Counseling and Career Development Center is located in building S, Room S202, and can be reached at 708-974-5722.