September 27, 2019

Activities are planned to educate and work to eradicate the abuse that touches the lives of three out of four Americans.

Hackettstown, N.J., Sept. 27, 2019— October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) and Centenary University is hosting a range of activities to support the nationwide movement to build awareness and end violence and sexual assault.

“We all need to learn more about domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual assault, to bring these issues out of the shadows,” said Erin Snyder, Survivor Support & Violence Prevention Program coordinator at Centenary. “We hope that students, staff, and faculty, along with members of the wider community, will participate in our activities and spread the word.”

Last fall, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded a three-year, $300,000 grant to Centenary to institute Cyclone Strong, an initiative to strengthen awareness, prevention, and on-campus services regarding sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking (SADVS). The grant helped Centenary emerge as a leader in SADVS support and education in the region through the funding of a Coordinated Community Response (CCR) Team, as well as Snyder’s position to coordinate the University’s efforts.

The grant also supports educational programming, including the following events to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month:

  • Paint It Purple Campaign/Purple Thursdays—Purple is the color that signifies domestic violence awareness. Events include Chalk the Walk on Oct. 3; Sweet Treats (painting cupcakes with purple icing) on Oct. 10; and Put a Nail in It, on Oct. 17, which spreads the word through participants painting the nail of their left ring finger purple. All programs will be held outside The David and Carol Lackland Center and in the Centenary University cafeteria.
  • Voices & Visions of Survivorship and Empowerment—Events highlighting artistic expression include the official launch of Domestic Violence Awareness Month on Oct. 1;  Purple Out Poetry on Oct. 21 in partnership with the Centenary Writing Collaboratory; A Pledge Art Mural throughout the week of Oct. 21; and an art opening/reception on Oct. 24 to display pieces created during the month.

A related event is the launch of the White Ribbon Campaign at Wrestle Offs, co-sponsored by the Survivor Support & Violence Prevention Program and the Centenary University wrestling team. The event is a renewal of student-athletes’ commitment to ending toxic masculinity, and is part of a series of programs planned for November focusing on healthy masculinity.

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month was started in 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence as a “Day of Unity” to connect those working to end abuse of women and children. The event was expanded to a full month in 1987, as awareness has grown that domestic violence affects millions, including women and men of every race, religion, culture, and status, and includes a wide range of behaviors from verbal to physical violence.

Nearly three out of four Americans know someone personally who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. If you need assistance or want to talk to someone about domestic violence, please contact the Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault Crisis Center of Warren County’s Helpline at 908-453-4181.

Photo Caption: From left, Olivia Hunter (interpersonal violence counselor, SSVP), Victoria Manzi (first year leader), Brooke Castanzo (first year leader), Erin Snyder (program coordinator, SSVP)


Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township. The Centenary University School of Professional Studies offers degree programs at two locations, Parsippany and Edison, as well as online and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.

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