MENOMONIE — Students in the Abuse and the Family class at University of Wisconsin-Stout haven’t just been talking about ending domestic violence. They’ve been doing something about it.
October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and more than 30 of Susan Wolfgram’s students headed off campus to five sites in west-central Wisconsin. They spread the word that acts of domestic violence can be prevented and that everyone needs to break the silence and talk about the issue.
Among the students was Samantha Secraw of Colfax. She is majoring in human development and family studies and was at New Richmond High School.
Their efforts coincide with No More, a national awareness campaign supported by leading domestic violence and sexual assault organizations from around the country.
“Our students joined in the national conversation in saying ‘No More’ to the silence that surrounds domestic violence,” said Wolfgram, an associate professor in the human development and family studies department.
According to No More, www.nomore.org, one in four women and one in six men are sexually abused before age 18. Domestic violence from spouses and partners affects 25 percent of women. One-third of teenagers are sexually or physically abused or threatened by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
The five groups of UW-Stout students conducted awareness outreach programs at three schools, a jail and an ex-offender facility. The presentations reached about 200 people.
“They used interactive activities, including role-playing, and videos grounded in current research in the field. One primary message is that ‘men are part of the solution,’ ” Wolfgram said.
In addition a sixth group of students is working on the annual Hope for the Holidays concert Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Waterfront Bar and Grill in Menomonie. The concert benefits Bridge to Hope, a domestic violence and sexual assault agency in Dunn and Pepin counties.