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TSTC Observes Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Thursday, October 3, 2013
By Eladio Jaimez

ViolenceNorma Martinez didn't hold anything back when she addressed a packed Orientation Room at the Learning Resource Center at Texas State Technical College.

Martinez, a survivor of domestic violence, spoke candidly about her time in an abusive relationship during a Candlelight Observance held on Thursday as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

"I always asked myself, 'how dumb does a person have to be to stay in an abusive relationship?'" Martinez said. "I would never tolerate it."

Martinez was in an absuive relationship for three years during which sh experienced "slapping, kicking and having my clothes ripped off during an argument."

"He would sweet-talk me afterward and ask if I could forgive him," Martinez said. "Then he would tell me that we did this to each other."

Martinez was one of several speakers that incuded representatives from the Family Crisis Center.

TSTC Gender Equity Officer Anna Cortez said the observance is one of several events the College has planned this month.

On Wednesday, Support Services hosted the Clothesline Project at the Student Center Cafeteria. Students were encouraged to leave messages of hope and support on T-shirt templates for victims of domestic violence. The artwork was on display at the Candlelight Observance.

"We wanted to pick a theme this year and we went with 'Don't be a bystander,'" Cortez said. "We're encouraging people to stand up against domestic violence even if it's not happening to you."

Cortez said the focus isn't solely on domestic violence this year. The group will also target bullying and stalking and wll try to raise awareness in the course of the month.

On Oct. 9, there'll be a Unity Day Observance at the Student Center. The purpose is to unite against bullying. Supporters are asked to wear orange to send the message that bullying should end.

"If we could help at least one person, we've done something," Cortez said.

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