As leaders for the CAVE Community Task Force (under the Dean of students office), we are constantly trying to promote awareness regarding safe relationships on campus. You may know us as facilitators from your ‘Consenting Communities’ sessions during orientation. We are working in the Clark Community to ensure the wellness of Clarkies, promoting healthier and safer relationship practices.
Since October was Domestic Violence Awareness month, we all wanted to take this opportunity and have a dialogue within the community regarding domestic violence. We had a rare opportunity to screen the movie, ‘Provoked’. Provoked is an Indian film shot in London with a diverse cast of actors and actresses. Loosely based on the true events experienced by Kuranjit Aluwalia, who murdered her husband due to abuse, this movie tells the story of an Indian woman who was physically and emotionally abused by her husband over the course of their marriage. Unable to tolerate this abuse, Kuranjit Aluwalia (played by Aishwariya Rai) lit her house on fire where her husband was severely injured and later died in intensive care. The movie focuses on her battle to receive justice in the British Court and portrays the story of a victim rising from the flames society has pushed her into.
The event took place in Jefferson 320 on October 26th and was quite successful among the Clarkies that decided to attend. An open discussion took place right after the movie where many talked about how the pattern of abuse was very similar to other cultures. A representative from YWCA was also present to talk about some of the work the YWCA does regarding domestic violence in Worcester.
The great thing about having such events on campus is that we are all made to think outside of our own comfort zones and understanding. Yes, there was an opportunity for us to watch this movie and make a stereotypical assumption that men from more conservative cultures always end up having the power in their relationships. However, it was not surprising that, the Clarkies present at the event did not choose to think like that. Instead they appreciated watching a movie that they probably would not have watched. Instead of looking at what was different, they chose to look at all the aspects that make it the same. We all agreed that violence was present in every culture and that they may happen in different forms. However, we agreed on the bigger picture that regardless of the culture no one should be a victim of violence and nothing justifies domestic violence.
Even though Domestic Violence Awareness month is over, we must also not forget that awareness for such issues should not just be a one-time-thing. We have the opportunity to educate ourselves regarding such issues that are constantly happening around. While we may not always have the ability to stop such heinous incidents from happening, we always have the ability to try and support those that have experienced them and continue to do so. We only truly fail when we don’t even bother to try.
(The feature image comes from the Facebook event page.)