“I think the biggest piece is that we know, over and over again, that there are so many people affected by domestic violence, but it’s hidden,” Peden said. “Often, they themselves, or their friends and family members, don’t necessarily know how to help or what they can do, or they need the support themselves. “
Through the college activities and the social media campaign, Peden said they hope to highlight that people are not alone if they experience domestic violence and need help.
“Part of the campaign is that we all know someone who experiences domestic violence or has done it,” she said. “We have the opportunity to reach out to them to provide that support, that understanding and really build that support system for them.”
By talking to students about domestic violence, Peden said, advocates are trying to focus on educating them on what “healthy” relationships look like.
“A lot of times what I hear from young people is that they see that certain relationships are ‘toxic’, they have that word for it and they recognize that they are in a toxic relationship or a toxic person, and they see that or recognize the behaviors, “she said.” But, they don’t necessarily identify them as abuse, do they? They can see that there is controlling behavior, or jealousy, or that ‘They are isolated, but it doesn’t match their image of how they think about domestic violence, they don’t identify it that way.