-- The College Will Reaffirm Its Annual Commitment to the Statewide Shine The Light On Domestic Violence Initiative, Asking Participants to Carry the Message Forward Beyond October --
Intimate partner violence is the most underreported crime in the United States; each year, an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner, with the highest rate of increase among 13- to 17-year-old females.
A ceremony will be held not only to address this national epidemic, but also offer solutions for ending the cycle of violence. Participants will include current and former Women & Work Program (WWP) students—some of whom are survivors of domestic violence—students, members of the campus community, and local legislators. The public is invited to this free event.
Everyone who attends will receive a purple T-shirt—purple represents the domestic violence awareness initiative—commemorating the event and serving as a reminder to carry the anti-violence message forward beyond the designated month of October. Each year the college lights its Chaney Goodman Schwerner clock tower purple as part of its commitment to the cause.
A wide selection of literature offering assistance to domestic violence victims and survivors will be available, including a safety plan for domestic violence victims, also posted online at http://bit.ly/1OWJnz9
Media: Check in at the main gate on Kissena to be directed to complimentary parking.
Queens College President Félix V Matos Rodríguez; Queens Borough President Melinda Katz; Assemblywoman Nily Rozic; Council Member Rory Lancman; Carmella Marrone, director of the Queens College Women and Work Program; “Hope,” a domestic violence survivor (please conceal this speaker’s identity in all coverage); Fatima Anwar, WWP intern/QC Students for Change. Cynthia Rountree, Esq., director of the Office of Compliance and Diversity Programs, will serve as emcee.
Women & Work—a free, 15-week program founded in 1998 at Queens College—empowers participants (all of whom are living at or below the federal poverty level) to rebuild their lives, which in many cases have been shattered by physical and emotional abuse. To date, the program has helped transform the lives of over 3,000 women through job and life skills training. An average of 90% of its participants complete the program, with an 85% retention rate in the workplace over three years. Women and Work graduates women from different ethnicities, religions, ages, and sexual orientations, and teaches them to advocate on their own behalf to become financially secure and establish safe domiciles for themselves and their children.