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Get loud to stop domestic violence
February 5, 2018
Wiregrass Ranch High School held a Domestic Violence Awareness event during a varsity basketball game against Sunlake High School on January 30th.
During the game, students remained quiet until the home basketball team scored 9 points, to represent the statistic that every 9 seconds there’s a woman in the U.S. who is beaten or assaulted. Getting loud and breaking the silence about domestic violence helps others understand that there’s always help available.
The event took place at Wiregrass because of student, Gabriella Azzolina. Get Loud events have previously taken place in schools in Hillsborough County, but this was the first Pasco County School event.
Azzolina explained how she discovered the event and brought it to Wiregrass.
“I was able to get involved through my mom meeting another mother who mentioned the event at a Cross Country meet. The crisis center of Tampa Bay has a goal to spread this event to other schools. I was able to go to a meeting at the Sunny Hall to plan out the crisis event and get it approved by the principal,” Azzolina said.
Ms. Monroe, who Azzolina first talked to about this event and helped her present it to the Mrs. White, Wiregrass Principal, commented on the outcome of the Domestic Violence event.
“I think this was a good start, with a bright outcome in the future,” Monroe said.
Fans and the basketball team wore purple, which is the color representative of domestic violence awareness.
Senior Alyssa Soriano, who helped Azzolina with the event preparation, expressed her feelings about the event.
“It was very good; I am happy that everyone was collective in taking the event seriously because domestic violence is a big issue,” Soriano said.
Azzolina expressed her goal for domestic violence awareness events in the near future.
“My goal is to help people in my community. There are so many people who experience domestic violence and are unaware that there are options to get help and emotional support,” Azzolina said. “I hope this event can happen again next year, because I am happy about the awareness that it spreads.”
Why is domestic violence awareness necessary?
Domestic Violence (noun): violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner.
Those who have the privilege of never experiencing domestic violence often never know the extent of the act, or that it even occurs. Having awareness for this problem is the first step in helping victims seek treatment, speak up, or prevent the violence in the first place.
Domestic violence can happen to both men and women, and signs include physical violence (like hitting, slapping, etc.), name-calling, stalking, threatening harm to you or themselves, and many more. Many victims are persuaded by their abusers into believing that abusive behaviors are normal, which is one of the biggest reasons why it is vital for everyone to be aware of domestic violence and to believe survivors who speak out.
This issue is bigger than it may seem; in just 2016 alone, over 100,000 cases of domestic violence were reported in the state of Florida. This number is much too high, and does not even count the many unreported cases across the state.
Especially for anyone who has never experienced domestic violence, it can be hard to relate to those who have, or to know how to help. If you know an abuse survivor, let them know you are there for them, and that there are services available that can give them professional assistance. Most importantly, educate yourself and understand the situation they are going through to the best of your ability.
Domestic violence is not a situation to take lightly, which is why awareness for the cause is important for teens and adults alike.