ATLANTA — The timing of Clark Atlanta University’s fight against domestic violence is, ironically, serendipitous. With a greater awareness of violence against women because of the heinous elevator knock-out punch of former NFL running back Ray Rice against girlfriend-turned-wife Tanay and the brutality case-and-suspension of Greg Hardy of the Dallas Cowboys, also in the NFL, the country is much more aware of the national dilemma, particularly those facing college-aged women.
President Ronald A. Johnson today announced that the University will launch its annual campaign against dating and domestic violence, “The Call to True Beauty,” beginning Sunday, Oct. 11, with a weeklong schedule of free educational programming for the campus and metro Atlanta-area community.
The weeklong campaign is sponsored by Verizon Wireless, one of the nation’s preeminent corporate leaders in the crusade to end dating and domestic violence.
The U.S. Department of Justice states high school and college-aged women are most vulnerable when it comes to domestic violence. Data from the U.S. bureau of justice statistics indicate that women ages 16 to 24 in dating relationships experience the highest rate of domestic violence and sexual assault.
CAU President Ronald A. Johnson says, “This is our target population and, while the University is not besieged with incidents of dating and domestic violence, our proactive stance centers upon empowering all of our students with the knowledge and resources to advocate against these crimes and, certainly, to provide information and assistance to others in their communities and spheres of influence.”
This year’s campaign comprises a series of programs designed to get to the “HEART of the Matter,” with daily emphasis on approaches to preventing and eradicating dating and domestic violence: healing, education, advocacy, relationships and training. This year’s events, all of which take place on CAU’s main campus, 223 James P. Brawley Drive, S.W., in Atlanta, include:
- Sunday, Oct. 11 The Call to True Beauty in Worship (10:45 a.m. in Davage Auditorium). Sermon by Domestic Abuse Survivor Betty Hones followed by annual memorial balloon lift.
- Monday, Oct. 12 “Heart of the Matter” Radio-Thon (6-8 p.m. on WSTU.com Online Radio. Students discuss key issues surrounding dating violence on WSTU.com streaming radio.
- Tuesday, Oct. 13 — “I Am a Survivor” (6-8 p.m. in Aldridge Auditorium, Cole Cent). Survivors share their personal tragedies and how they triumphed over domestic abuse.
- Wednesday, Oct. 14 — Powder Room/Locker Room (6 – 8 p.m. in Carl and Mary Ware Academic Bldg. Candid, adult conversations about creating and maintaining healthy relationships.
- Thursday, Oct. 15 “The Dating Game” (6 – 8 p.m. in Carl and Mary Ware Academic Bldg.). Students united for a game-show style workshop on conflict resolution in relationships.