February 21, 2024

One in three women and one in four men have been physically abused by their partners. This kind of violence is most common for women aged 18 to 24.

These were two of the many startling statistics University of Dayton graduate student Antony Parnigoni brought to the attention of students and faculty on Feb. 23.

Partnering with the Womyn’s Center and Project Woman, Parnigoni is spending the spring semester interning as Wittenberg’s Violence Prevention Coordinator, hoping to make presentations like this a more common occurrence on campus.

The Dating Violence and Stalking Workshop covered a wide variety of topics, most specifically intimate partner violence and stalking. The presentation was discussion based, inviting students and faculty in the room to voice their own opinions.

In one of the many graphics presented throughout the afternoon, a survey was taken at Wittenberg during the 2014 year. The survey focused on both non-physical and physical abuse as reported by a variety of men and women on campus.

“Women initiated non-physical violence on a more common basis than men did,” Parnigoni said. “However, men were more likely to initiate physical and extreme physical violence.”

Throughout the discussion, Parnigoni raised awareness to both Ohio’s definitions of dating violence, domestic violence and stalking, along with Wittenberg’s definitions, which can be found under Wittenberg’s Student Code of Conduct Definitions on wittenberg.edu.

After discussing intimate partner violence, the discussion turned toward stalking, more importantly on how stalking is over half the time done by someone the victim knows.

“If it makes you uncomfortable, then we really have a problem,” Parnigoni said.

At the conclusion of the presentation, Parnigoni presented a list of various resources, both national hotlines and Wittenberg resources. Justine Gurley, whom works within the Womyn’s Center, shared her thoughts about the resources Wittenberg can offer students, and how she wishes they would be used more.

“It would be great if people knew about the Womyn’s Center and Project Woman,” Gurley said. “There is more of a sense of confidentiality there. You get to make the choice whether your choice is shared with the school, or police, or not.”

In the coming weeks, Parnigoni hopes to begin presenting more throughout campus and to reach more students.

“This is going to be a presentation that continues happening,” Parnigoni said.

He also has hope that a program on the University of Dayton’s campus, Green Dot, will make its way to Wittenberg’s campus. Green Dot is a bystander intervention training program focused on three steps: Direct, Delegate, Distract. Green Dot can be recognized by green bandannas and buttons all over Dayton’s campus, and he is hopeful the program will reach Wittenberg in the near future.

“Abuse thrives in silence,” Parnigoni said. “If we start talking, the abuse will not survive.”

To report an incident on Wittenberg’s campus, students can search Reporting Incidents on Campus under the Student Conduct portion of wittenberg.edu. There are also a wide variety of off-campus sources for student use, including the National Domestic Hotline, Love is Respect and many more.

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