Every 9 seconds, a woman in the U.S. is beaten or abused. One in four women and one in thirteen men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. As our economy continues to face hard times, these numbers are increasing.

On October 3, 2011 President Obama declared October 2011 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, on October 13, 2011 at 7:20 p.m. the Mu Xi chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. hosted a program entitled: Black and Blu, Don’t Let it Happen to You: A Self DefenZe PreZentation.

The program began with a video from the Avon Foundation which included statistics, facts and various statements from Domestic Violence survivors. One woman recalled having an argument with a significant other who broke into her home on a Saturday morning and she was tied, gagged and raped at knife point in her own bedroom.

Merriam-Webster defines Domestic Violence as “the inflicting of physical injury by one family or household member on another.” states “Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating.” Participants of the program also voiced their own definitions of domestic violence and domestic abuse.

Although there are many definitions, it is consistent that domestic abuse and violence, establishes the control and power of one individual over another. Domestic violence does not discriminate; anyone is targeted and can become a victim.

Jennifer Price, a member of the Mu Xi chapter feels this program was important because it’s Domestic violence awareness month and also feels it is common with this age group. She hopes that after the program participants understand that “anyone can be a victim of domestic violence and it’s a cycle that needs to be stopped.”

The chapter invited Christopher Ousley, a Physical Education teacher here at North Carolina State University to give their participants a few self defense tips. Ousley has been practicing Karate and Tai Kwan Do since the age of 10. He is currently the instructor of P.E. 239: Self Defense. Ousley gave participants tips on how to distract an attacker and allowed them to practice with a partner. Although the participants had fun play-fighting with their friends, Ousley made it clear that these moves are not guaranteed to save your life and stressed to be smart and get help if you can.

The program provided participants with information on how to recognize someone in an abusive relationship as well as how to address them. Women’shealth. gov list these signs of abuse: 

◊ Decides things for you that you should be allowed to decide (like what to wear or eat)

◊ Humiliates you in front of others

◊ Unfairly accuses you of being unfaithful all the time

◊ Prevents or discourages you from seeing friends or family

◊ Blames you for his or her violent outbursts

◊ Some signs of an unhealthy relationship include:

◊ Focusing all your energy on your partner

◊ Dropping friends and family or activities you enjoy

◊ Feeling pressured or controlled a lot

◊ Having more bad times in the relationship than good

◊ Feeling sad or scared when with your partner