This past Tuesday the Women’s Resource Center held the program, “These Hands Don’t Hurt Women,” a presentation about domestic violence and sexual harassment. The program was held in the Chancellor’s Suite at 8:30 PM.
Co-Sponsoring the event were the brothers Psi Sigma Phi, a multicultural fraternity.
“It’s great that there are so many guys here to support us,” freshmen Sarah Olsen, who works for the Women’s Resource center and helped to put on this event, said.
The evening began with a slide-show which discussed statistics regarding domestic violence and college campus safety. According to the Women’s Resource Center, the most important thing is for women to know and understand their rights on a college campus.
Additionally, the Center discussed world-wide statistics, which reveal that the United States is far from alone in its domestic abuse plight. Peru, for example, notes that 90% of girls who are pregnant and under the age of 17 report being raped by a member of their family or by a close friend.
The Women’s Resource Center, however, tries to focus first and foremost about prevention.
It is important to, “Create effective allies in men and empower women,” first year graduate student Renee Shalhoub, who also works at the Women’s Resource Center and helped to produce the program, said.
“We’re here to create equality in men and women,” said Olsen, adding that the Women’s Resource Center is also holding a Male Privilege/Women’s Empowerment workshop on Tuesday November 8th, at 8:30 PM in the Faculty Lounge.
Olsen and Shalhoub both expressed the importance of men coming to these events, which is why they were especially grateful to the Psi Sigma Phi fraternity and Winston Roberts, the Coordinator for Community Standards here at Seton Hall University, who spoke about his experience as a graduate student at SUNY Albany.
While there, he said he helped to create a program, Man Reach, which not only allowed men to reach out to women, but to reach out to their community as well.
“We [men] didn’t see the physical representations of violence so we thought that they didn’t exist,” Roberts said. He is currently hoping to get a group like Man Reach going at Seton Hall, and said that the Counseling Center has been very helpful with that.
It has been said that there have recently been funding problems with regards to the Center, however, according to Shalhoub, “Money doesn’t stop us.”
“We can’t throw huge events, but we work with what we have,” Olsen added.
Additional upcoming events for the Center include a women’s conference and appreciation dinner in March, as well as a service project for Raphael’s Lifehouse, a home for pregnant teenagers and teenage mothers. Volunteers learn to crochet and crochet baby blankets for the Lifehouse, and according to Shalhoub the annual project, “allows students to give back in a very active way.”
While the main goal of the Women’s Resource Center is to promote programs for prevention, they understand that it does not always work out for everybody, and they want women to know that there are a lot of resources available to them.
First and foremost, the Center always advocates calling the police in the event of an emergency. Additionally, they note that there are free counseling services available to matriculated students in crisis.
They also add that Dr. Rose Zayco, a psychologist here at Seton Hall, holds a group, “Women of Many Backgrounds,” that meets to talk about less urgent women’s issues.
The Women’s Resource Center itself, they both add, is also available, even if it’s just to mention a new idea.
“Our goal is to make it [the Center] bigger,” Shalhoub said.
The Women’s Resource Center office is in room 116 of the University Center and can be reached at (973) 761-9392.