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Candlelight vigil sheds light on domestic violence

On a cold and dark November evening, students and faculty alike braved the chilly temperatures to create awareness of a very serious issue- domestic violence. Those attending the Peer Advocates for Change event gathered in front of the library to hold a candlelight vigil for survivors. One of the PAC members who helped create this event, Samantha Barrale, explained why it’s so important.

“I’m part of the Peer Advocates for Change…We decided to do this domestic violence project to create awareness around campus. Not a lot of people might be aware of these issues. We had the vigil tonight and we also have the “Hands are not for hurting” banner, where people can trace their hands or dip their hands in paint and sign their names. It’s all basically for awareness. We definitely stress the issue that it’s not just a woman’s issue, it’s everyone’s issue.”

Barrale has had her own experience with domestic violence.

“I personally know someone whose parents were in a seriously violent relationship, which is part of the reason why I did this, but I think that relationship violence should be brought up on every campus and to everyone in the community.”

Emily Provo, who also helped with the project, explained the project in further depth.

“We thought it would be a good topic. It’s not really discussed that often, especially on campus and people think that domestic violence only happens in marriages or with older couples. They don’t realize it can happen with teen dating and even college dating. I think everyone needs to step back and evaluate their own relationships, and most people don’t realize they’re in a violent relationship,” she said.

Although the vigil was only a short walk from the library to the Campus Center, it seemed to get the message across to the campus.

And inside the Campus Center, the “Hands are not for hurting” banner and informational bulletin boards were displayed for those who participated. Students and faculty were also urged to wear purple on Monday to support the initiative.

Most of the Castleton men’s hockey team attended to show their support. Tyler Atkins, a junior on the team, said a couple reasons led the team to join in.

“It’s something we wanted to do as a team, it gives us good publicity and we wanted to make a difference.”

Braden Kinnebrew, a freshman also on the team, agreed with Atkins.

“I think it kind of opened people’s eyes a little and I didn’t know it was that big of a problem until I saw the statistics. It’s good to see that people came out to support the cause.