URI student programs work to end domestic violence

Events range from Open Mic Night to Escalation Workshop

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862 |

KINGSTON, R.I. – October 19, 2017 – Did you know that 43 percent of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive behaviors including physical, sexual, online, verbal or controlling abuse? Did you know that more than half (57 percent) say it is difficult to identify dating abuse?

And, did you know that domestic violence is a problem within the University of Rhode Island community?

But at URI, students are doing something about it.

Programs sponsored by Peers Learning Educating and Supporting Everyone (P.L.E.A.S.E.) and Violence Prevention & Advocacy Services (VPAS) are dedicated to raising awareness, and encouraging students to take a stand against domestic violence.

Hannah Woodhouse, assistant coordinator of Violence Prevention & Advocacy Services at URI, explained that during the remaining weeks of October (National Domestic Violence Awareness Month), a number of interactive events will be held to help the URI community learn about the effects of domestic violence.

“Domestic violence is a pervasive issue that touches so many people, and URI is fortunate enough to have the programs and opportunities to raise and spread awareness,” Woodhouse said. “It is domestic violence awareness month nationally, and part of the mission is to help to raise awareness because the issues are not often talked about. We’re hoping for large, diverse crowds for these programs since domestic violence affects everyone.”

The schedule is as follows:

“Open Mic Night,” Thursday Oct. 19, 7 to 9 p.m., 193 Coffee House in the Memorial Union. Etherbound Magazine, 193 Coffee House, URI Slam Poetry, and community resource SOAR (Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships) join URI P.L.E.A.S.E. for an evening of spoken word, poetry, personal stories, music and solidarity. Attendees are encouraged to wear purple to demonstrate support for those hurt by domestic violence.

“Jessica Jones Streaming Marathon,” Friday, Oct. 20, 1 to 7 p.m., and Friday, Oct. 27, 1 to 8 p.m., 193 Coffee House in the Memorial Union. The first season of the popular Netflix/Marvel series starring Jessica Jones will be shown two Fridays in a row. The series depicts super heroes, but also highlights the reality of how pervasive toxic relationships are in popular media. Drop by for one episode or the whole season. Popcorn provided.

“Escalation Workshop,” Wednesday, Oct. 25, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., and Thursday, Oct. 26, 2 to 4 p.m., in the Memorial Union Atrium 1. In response to the death of their daughter, Yeardley Love, at the hands of her abuser, two parents started the One Love Foundation aimed at educating campuses about the escalation of abuse. The Escalation Workshop is a two-hour film screening and discussion led by trained facilitators regarding unhealthy behaviors and what people can do if they witness or experience these warning signs.

“Purple Paws Against Domestic Violence,” Saturday. Oct. 28, 1 to 3 p.m., Broad Rock Playfields, 55 St. Dominic St., Wakefield, R.I. Oftentimes, family pets can be caught in the crossfire in an abusive household and used as leverage to keep victims in fear and unable to leave. Purple Paws brings light to this issue in a fun way. In partnership with the South Kingstown Parks & Recreation Wag-o-Ween, there will be a day of activities, including arts and crafts, a pet photo booth, live music, and a pet talent show! All donations benefit the Potter League.

Dominique Ward, a public relations major and an intern in the URI Marketing and Communications Department, wrote this release.