Union College to illuminate the problem of domestic violence
Every year an average of 572,032 women and 48,983 men experience domestic violence at the hands of an intimate partner. And every year, between 2,000 and 4,000 of those men and women will die from the injuries they receive at the hands of a loved one.
To represent the lives lost due to intimate partner domestic violence, 2,000 illuminated bags will outline the Union College campus on Oct. 8, each flicker telling a story’s tragic end. The process of placing the bags and lighting the candles will begin at 4 p.m. The commemorative service will begin at 7 p.m. on the Tribute Terrace outside the Ortner Center.
Although Union’s Social Work Club plans the event, it is implemented with the help of many student and community hands. Preparation will begin three days prior to the event, as volunteers scoop sand into the 2,000 bags and place a small candle in the center.
This will be the second year that Union College has used the luminary event to “shine light on a dark issue” and promote the Friendship Home’s annual Safe Quarters drive that will take place Sunday, Oct. 11. Union is a hosting site for the drive, during which more than 1,500 volunteers go door-to-door, collecting spare change and other financial contributions. The Friendship Home uses the donations to help battered women and their children rebuild their lives, free from violence.
“Every year too many lives are lost due to domestic violence,” said Lorri Merchant, director of Union’s social work program, “We do this to make people understand it’s real. We hope this event can be linked to awareness and prevention of this abuse.”