By Ivey Mellem
The month of October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). Domestic violence is defined as any violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner. Domestic violence can also include sexual violence, sexual assault and stalking.
The most important part of DVAM is to spread awareness that domestic violence does happen, even if the signs may be difficult to spot. According to The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, it is estimated that more than 10 million people a year are physically abused by a domestic partner in the U.S. alone, and 46.7% of female rape victims and 44.9% of male rape victims are raped by an acquaintance.
It is important for everyone to know the signs of domestic violence, and the steps that survivors can take to get help. Here at CI there are many resources on campus for students, faculty and staff if they are or ever become a victim of sexual or domestic violence.
The Title IX and Inclusion office is dedicated to fostering an open and inclusive campus community, as well as ensuring that there is no discrimination on the basis of gender, including sex, gender identity or sexual orientation. This also includes protection against sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and gender based dating and domestic violence and stalking.
In the event of a report of sexual misconduct, the Title IX office responds by taking the appropriate action based on the report made. They ensure that the process is fair to both parties. If a victim does not wish to participate in an investigation, then they will not be forced to do so upon reporting. It is always the victim’s decision if they want to participate in an investigation.
CI’s Title IX and Inclusion Officer is Brittany Grice. Her office is located in Lindero Hall 1836. You can call her office at (805) 437-3608 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coalition for Family Harmony
The Coalition for Family Harmony is an organization based in Ventura County that supports survivors of any kind of sexual violence, domestic violence and/or stalking. They offer free support groups as well as counseling and advocacy services.
The Coalition does not report, but does offer emotional support services in case a survivor does choose to report. All files are kept in their main office in Oxnard and not on the CI campus in order to ensure confidentiality.
Partnering with CI, the Coalition for Family Harmony hosts a 24/7 hotline that serves as a rape crisis center. This hotline is free and is completely anonymous and confidential. You can call this hotline at any time at (805) 656-4439.
CI’s crisis advocate from the Coalition is Myriah Gonzales and her office on campus is located in Lindero Hall. You can call her office at the Coalition at (805) 983-6014, ext. 428 or her cellphone at (805) 796-4844, or email her at email@example.com.
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides short-term, completely confidential mental health services to students at CI. They offer services such as crisis intervention, psychiatric consultation, outreach and many different kinds of therapy, including couples counseling.
CAPS also has a 24/7 hotline that provides students, faculty and staff at CI quality access to professional behavioral health and wellness services. Their services are completely confidential and they do not disclose any information without consent.
The CAPS office is located in Bell Tower East 1867. You can call their 24-hour phone at (805) 437-2088 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about these different services, connect with the listed contact or look up the specific resource on the csuci.edu webpage. However, if you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation or emergency, call 911 immediately. If you are on campus, your phone call will automatically be connected with the CI police.
If you or someone you know has been or is currently being affected by any kind of domestic or sexual violence, know that there are resources available. Domestic violence thrives when we remain silent; but when we stand together and take action, we can end the violence.