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Relationship Violence Intervention Week Planned

Relationship Violence Intervention Week Planned


The nationally recognized actor, writer and solo artist Tim Collins will return to SUNY Cortland on Wednesday, Oct. 3, as the highlight of a weeklong series of events from Oct. 1 to 5 focusing on the serious issues of relationship violence and bystander intervention.

Collins will perform “Mend,” a one-man show that will address those topics as well as gender roles and masculinity, at 7 p.m. in the Corey Union Function Room.

“We’re looking for as many creative ways to reach out to students to get them thinking about these issues, so if they are in a situation to interrupt harm before it happens, they have some practical skills,” said SUNY Cortland’s Title IX coordinator Nan Pasquarello.

Collins’ talk, which is free and open to the campus community, is part of an ongoing series of programs to prevent sexual and intimate partner violence. Collins’ performance is presented by SUNY Cortland’s Title IX office, the It’s On Us Action Team and Auxiliary Services Corporation. The event is part of the College’s Wellness Wednesday series, a continuing initiative to promote lifelong well-being.

Meanwhile, the student club Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER) worked closely with the campus committee It’s On Us Action Team to develop the rest of the week’s programs.

“Mend” will be a new performance for Collins, who has been a playwright and performer since 2001, and has appeared on ABC News, Spectrum News and NPR.

Collins, who has visited the campus twice before to address sexual assault, strives to relate to students in a unique and creative way so they will learn more about the issue and understand how they can be a part of the solution.

“Tim created the ‘Mend’ program because he recognized that dating violence is a very important issue,” Pasquarello said. “And he’s trying to expand his educational framework to go beyond just talking about bystander intervention around sexual assaults to include bystander intervention around toxic relationships and dating violence. He recognizes these are interrelated problems of intimate partner violence.”

Collins has taken his educational one-man show across the country in a variety of venues.

“Tim is a master at taking on different personas and they are very, very convincing,” Pasquarello said. “He does a lot to promote healthy masculinity and helps people help friends who might be in difficult situations in relationships. He will look at harmful attitudes that are prevalent in society and might be perpetuated in the media and films. He breaks down myths and helps people think critically.”

A recipient of the Wallis Foundation Grant, Collins was a featured performer at the 24th national “Sharing the Fire” National Storytelling Conference and was nominated for a Kevin Kline Award. He was honored as “Best Solo Performance” in the second annual Dialogue ONE Solo Theater Festival in 2012 and, the following year, as “Best Educational Show” in the United Solo Theater Festival. For more information on Collins, visit his website.

The week also includes the following events.

  • Workshop: On Monday, Oct. 1, SAFER will present a One Love Foundation “Escalation Workshop” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 105.
  • Speaker/workshop: Special guest speaker Tim Collins will present a professional development program for faculty and staff on Tuesday, Oct. 2., in Corey Union Function Room. The program, which takes place from 2 to 4 p.m., will focus on intimate partner violence and bystander intervention. Collins will perform a portion of his new one-man show, ‘Mend.’”
  • Panel Presentation: The topic of “The Cycle of Trauma” will be discussed from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, in Corey Union, Rooms 204-205. The panel will feature representatives with SAFER and the Know Your Roots club.
  • Panel Presentation: On Thursday, Oct. 4, a panel will address “The Truth About Domestic Violence” from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Corey Union, Room 208. Presenters will include members of SAFER and the Greek service organization Sigma Alpha Iota.
  • Film Screening: The 2015 Truevision/Netflix drama, “Behind Closed Doors,” will be shown from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5, in Sperry Center, Room 105. The event is a collaboration by SAFER and YWCA Cortland’s Aid to Victims of Violence.

Also during October:

  • Faculty/Staff: A Green Dot faculty/staff informational overview will take place on Friday, Oct. 19, in Corey Union Exhibition Lounge. The event will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. Green Dot is a national bystander education approach that aims to prevent violence with the help of bystanders.
  • Community Event: Aid to Victims of Violence with the YWCA Cortland will hold a community event called “Chefs Take a Stand: Men Against Domestic Violence” to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month on Friday, Oct. 26. The event, which features 20 local chefs preparing tastings that are sprinkled with remarks regarding domestic violence awareness, will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at the YWCA at 14 Clayton Ave. The cost is $25 per ticket.

For more information on SAFER events, contact SAFER president Andreanna Whittaker. For more information on AVV events, contact AVV Enough is Enough Prevention Educator Eric Schisler. For Green Dot programs, contact SUNY Cortland health educator, Lauren Scagnelli, or associate director of residence life and housing staff development and programming, Cynthia Lake. For more information about Title IX or the It's On Us Action Team, contact action team co-chair Pasquarello at 607-753-4550 or action team co-chair Lt. Mary Murphy of the University Police Department.

One in five women and one in 16 men will be victims of attempted sexual assault during their college careers.

That’s why since 2015, SUNY Cortland has been part of It’s On Us, a national awareness program aimed at ending sexual assaults on college campuses. The “It’s On Us” campaign asks men and women across the United States to make a personal commitment to step off the sidelines and become part of the solution to stop campus sexual assault.

SUNY Cortland’s It’s On Us Action Team is comprised of students, faculty and staff who work to help students understand the notion of sexual violence as well as domestic violence and stalking.

“The campus It’s On Us action team meets bi-weekly,” Pasquarello said. “We’re a clearinghouse composed of many people, because to develop successful prevention programming it has to be done broadly to reach as many as possible.”

In the last decade, the College has ramped up its efforts to prevent sexual assault, interpersonal violence, stalking, dating violence and sexual harassment.

“We have vastly increased our programming to our students,” Pasquarello said. “We’ve engaged many more people because more people have realized the scope of the problem and we want to have all hands on deck.

“I think there’s been greater recognition, on campus and nationwide, of problems that have always been there,” she said.