MARQUETTE — Community members gathered at the Women’s Center in Marquette Friday to raise awareness about domestic violence.
They stood outside with signs as part of the event One Billion Rising, which is aimed at defeating violence against women. It’s a global effort that usually takes place on Valentine’s Day, but the Women’s Center hosted a day early to get as many people involved as possible.
Domestic violence has been in the national spotlight of late, featuring high profile characters such as Ray Rice.
“I just really encourage community members, when they’re hearing stories in the media, to really do their homework and research and really educate themselves because domestic violence is a really complicated topic that faces a lot of families, and it can be really taboo and sensitive to talk about,” said Amy Kordus, youth advocate for the Women’s Center. “We want to encourage people to have those conversations, but to be educated and knowledgeable about the topics.”
What we know about relationships we gathered from our environment growing up. The Women’s Center offers education on how to engage in a healthy relationship, focusing on boundaries, respect and communication.
“Unfortunately our society is based on a very patriarchal system and how we portray women in the media is very entrenched,” Kordus said. “A lot of people aren’t knowledgeable about what a healthy relationship looks like, and I think we have a lot of work to do to go out there and talk to young women, and talk to young men, ‘How do you express frustration in a relationship? How do you communicate with your partner?'”
You can learn more about the One Billion Rising movement on their website, www.onebillionrising.org.
If you, or someone you know, are affected by domestic violence the Women’s Center has a 24-hour hotline where you can receive free and confidential information, at (906) 226-6611.