‘Breaking the silence’

In the peak of a hot sunny Tuesday, students, faculty and organizations; UAAM, Sigma Gamma Rho, Phi Beta Sigma of Grambling State University, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. of Louisiana Tech, joined together to “break the silence”.

The domestic violence abuse walk began at Brown Hall ending at the Quad, the area in front of the T.H. Harris Auditorium. The group walked down Main St. with duck tape covering their mouths symbolizing the silent victims of domestic abuse. 

To start his week, Mr. Phrofection Andre Pierce gave background history on domestic violence.

Ending the walk participants ripped the tape from their mouths feeling the hurt of keeping quiet.

“We wanted to bring awareness to the community speaking on domestic violence and letting one know that peace, love and respect is the only type of abuse one should want. Neither man or woman deserve or should stand for beatings,” said Pierce.

People walked for numerous reasons whether they knew someone personally or they were just supporting the cause it was a great outcome.

Before starting the walk everyone was pinned with a purple ribbon to symbolize the fight against speaking out on domestic violence and some tape. 

As the walk began Annette Johnson spoke on someone she knew personally victimize by this traitorous act and how uncomfortable her home environment was because of it. 

“My mother was a victim of domestic violence. I think the moment when she decided that she couldn’t go any longer was when she thought of her four daughters,” explained Johnson.

“As a single woman she thought is this what I want my four girls to be subjected to? In an environment where my sisters father was abusing my mother at the ages of 6 to about 8,” says Johnson.

Directing everyone to walk in silence Mr. Phrofection and SGRHO Chapter president Tiffany Thomas lead the walk. In the mist of the walk some students joined as they noticed the crowd walk pass the café

Thomas made the walk because she also knew someone personally who was a victim of the abuse but wanted to support the awareness as well.

“This particular crime is often swept under the rug and us [SGRHO] as an organization decided to participate in it because it’s an important matter to spotlight,” said the SGRHO president. 

“I had a sister who was victimized and I never would’ve expected her to go through that.” Which is a prime example of victims can be the strong-minded as well as the weak.

There was a message that stood out for certain.

 “Gaining respect for yourself knowing your worth and knowing love and what a relationships is suppose to be,”  said Thomas,

Ending the walk Juanita Bobo, the disability service coordinator, spoke on campus safety and tips on how to remain safe and the information to health services. 

Bobo explained to the group how to use better judgment when it comes to abuse. She also elaborated on steps students can take who have living situations on  and off campus dealing with a person that is abusive.