October 28, 2022
Last week, many Colgate students, administrators, and faculty participated in “Wear Purple Day” on October 20 to raise awareness about domestic abuse. Organized by Haven, Colgate’s central resource center for sexual, domestic and other forms of violence, those involved hope to raise awareness for victims of domestic violence and resources in Haven helping those who may be suffering in silence.
Haven supports victims of domestic violence and provides confidential counseling and care to those dealing with sexual violence. Those who work at the center also provide personal care and organize advocacy programs for victims of sexual assault, promote individual and group trauma-based therapy, and educate the student body on strategies to avoid and limit sexual assault. sexual violence, among other assets. Haven Counselors validate and advocate for survivors by fostering a community of individuals who believe survivor stories and do everything in their power to ensure justice is served. Haven started and promoted the conversation around sexual violence, raising awareness of this important issue on the Colgate campus.
Haven began participating in Wear Purple Day, a day dedicated to supporting survivors and raising awareness of domestic violence on college campuses and beyond. Michele Passonno, Deputy Director of Haven, spoke about the day and Haven’s work as a resource center.
“The message behind ‘Wear Purple Day’ is to encourage the Colgate community to join Haven in participating in Purple Thursday, which is a national day of action each October during Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” said said Passonno. “It’s an opportunity to raise awareness about domestic violence and a visible way for people to show their commitment to promoting healthy relationships.”
Passonno pointed out that this message is especially important for impressionable students.
“‘Wear Purple Day’ is a way for students and everyone in the campus community to show their support and solidarity during the month of October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” Passonno said. “It’s a way to be a voice, to start a conversation about dating and domestic violence, and to show survivors that they’re not alone and that there are allies on campus. It also highlights resources available for survivors, supporters, and those who want to learn more about domestic violence on and off campus.
Passonno explained that student-run club “The Network” has helped plan big Wear Purple Day events such as the 3k for domestic violence awareness and speaking out for survivors.
The network acts as a liaison between students and on-campus education administrators to reduce instances of sexual assault at Colgate, often bringing in third-party organizations to teach the student body about sexual assault and awareness. Sophomore Callie Smith, an active participant and prominent network leader, spoke about the club’s role in planning events for Wear Purple Day. According to Smith, the club aims to educate students about healthy relationships.
“[The Network] hosts a high school seminar on healthy relationships multiple times throughout the year,” Smith said. “The idea is to share information about healthy and unhealthy relationships with students at a young age, particularly because current secondary school curricula share limited information about this.”
Sophomore Emily Faulk ran the 3K on Wear Purple Day and enjoyed the walk and the atmosphere surrounding the event.
“It was the perfect mileage to fit into my busy schedule – it was a bit chilly but I enjoyed the course as we passed the houses of Hamilton and they are so pretty! There was no lots of people there, but the COVE staff brought the energy and I commend them for running,” Falk said.
To anyone looking for confidential support, Haven keeps its doors open to those of all identities and backgrounds and will listen and validate your story no matter the circumstances. To reduce the pervasiveness of domestic violence on college campuses and beyond, the conversation around domestic violence must continue, giving voice to the voiceless.
“We encourage students to continue conversations about dating/domestic violence and other forms of violence, throughout the year,” Passonno said. “There are many opportunities to learn more about this public health issue through events and workshops hosted by Haven and student organizations such as The Network, Haven Ambassadors, and Colgate One Love Student Facilitators. There are steps we can all take to do something to help end dating violence/domestic violence. This includes recognizing the warning signs of dating/domestic violence, understanding barriers to help-seeking for individuals and communities, stepping up as an active bystander if safe to do so. do, and knowledge of campus and community resources to help someone who may be in need.”