The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Abuse victims given relief options

Photo courtesy Penn State Public Broadcasting
Photo courtesy Penn State Public Broadcasting

By Kat Fay/reporter

On average, 24 people per minute become victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States.

Statistics posted in January by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show one in four women and one in seven men have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner.

Officer Rose Brant, victims assistance coordinator for TCC’s police department, spoke to 34 women March 5 on South Campus about domestic violence and the numerous resources the campus and community offer to those who need support and assistance escaping from a violent relationship.

The event included a showing of the video Telling Amy’s Story, an educational documentary released in 2010 by Penn State Public Broadcasting. The film follows the timeline of a 2001 domestic violence homicide and was created to raise awareness of the severity of domestic abuse and help people recognize the signs of abuse.

The Victim Assistance Unit offers free assistance to anyone in a violent relationship who comes forward seeking help, Brant said. Officers help victims by connecting them to a domestic violence shelter or a counselor from a community partner such as the Women’s Crisis Center or One Safe Place. The unit also helps students who are being victimized by helping them through the steps of any legal processes they might need to go through and even making sure they get to class and to their cars safely, she said.

Brant said she is an advocate of the good that simply raising awareness of domestic violence can do.

“If you feel powerless, the way to gain power over domestic violence is to get involved,” she said. “Raising awareness by educating our learning community brings forth those who need help the most.”

Although Brant is unaware of any on-campus groups for survivors of domestic abuse, she is not opposed to the idea. She said some survivors see it as a private matter, but she can see the benefits that such a group would provide.

“It is wonderful to hear survivors talk about how they overcame such dangerous situations,” she said. “They are very brave, and I am inspired by them.”

Of the 34 women who viewed the film, three-fourths stayed after to ask questions and receive additional information. Three viewers came forward to seek help from the Victims Assistance Unit.

“You feel powerless after watching [Telling Amy’s Story] because you want it to end differently, but you can’t make it end differently because it is a true story,” Brant said. “If we reach one person who needs help, we have changed the ending for them.”

Anyone who knows of violence happening on or off campus can call 817-515-8911 or go to the police department in person. Whether the abuse is at home or on campus, victims have rights and can receive help through the Victims Assistance Unit, Brant said.

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