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Editorial: Don’t repeat Topeka, be proactive in preventing relationship violence

Oct. 18, 2011

Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Maneater editorial board.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month has not been successful nationwide. Topeka, Kan., announced the abolition of its domestic violence law Tuesday. In other words, beating your partner in Topeka doesn’t result in jail time. The city’s government cited budget cuts for the reason they’re repealing the law.

It might seem like the repeal of a domestic violence law in one city doesn’t say something about our nation, but it does. American citizens should not be OK with decriminalizing domestic violence anywhere. If budget cuts are the reason, fine the perpetrator. It’s also just hard to believe there was nowhere else to save money. Are we really that afraid of raising taxes?

Many organizations at MU are taking a proactive approach to solving domestic violence issues. In case you’re interested, you can attend the Clothesline Project on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or the Strong Together Against Relationship and Sexual Violence and Men Against Relationship and Sexual Violence Present: Troubling Violence on Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. If you want to learn about the signs of domestic violence, there’s a workshop made especially for college students Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

There’s a host of other events this month, next month and even more this week.

We endorse these events and encourage all students to go.

You’re not just at college for the sake of academic learning. College is also supposed to be about preparing you for life, and events such as these teach you how to handle crisis situations.

It’s our position that Summer Welcome, August Orientation and Winter Welcome should include more information such as this. If not its own event, it can be a larger part of other skits relating to the general safety of college students, such as those discussing alcohol responsibility and sexual safety.

The Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center does a fantastic job with outreach and holding a lot of informational events for students, but student organizations and residence halls should do a better job encouraging members and residents to attend.

It would be unfair to call for every Freshman Interest Group to deviate from its academic lesson plan to include a class on domestic violence and other life issues, but it could be promoted as an after-hours or group activity.

The same goes for student organizations whose mission may not revolve around such issues. College is about being more well-rounded, and outside training or events teaching students to be better people could be good for bonding or simply making us a better generation.

Greek Life is inundated with activities such as this, but they’re not the only group affected, nor are they the only group that could benefit.

Might we recommend the Green Dot Conference Saturday, Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Mark Twain Ballroom? This event teaches you to be proactive and reactively deal with relationship violence.

For women, there is a Rape Aggression Defense class Nov. 5 and 6 from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It’s a women’s only self-defense class.

What we’re trying to say is MU is somewhat progressive in teaching students about preventing sexual and domestic violence. We should take advantage of the free programs being offered, because really, it will only make us better people.

For more information on events, or if you have a problem, you can visit the RSVP Center in the student center, or at

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