Campus "crime scene" to raise awareness about domestic violence
By Gail Fagan, Public Affairs Representative
(956) 665-7995
Posted: 03/29/2013
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The University of Texas-Pan American campus will transform into a "crime scene" April 3-4 to open people's eyes about domestic violence.

UTPA Image
Travis Trapp, MFA student at UTPA and CAVE project research assistant, is pictured with one of 30 body outlines designed by Erika Balogh, MFA student and CAVE project research assistant, that will be on display Apr 3-4 in the campus quad area to raise awareness of the prevalence and consequences of domestic violence.
The Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation (CAVE) will present its "Remember Me: Confronting Violence Against Women in the RGV" project, which includes installing 30 body outlines, cut from vinyl, that will create a path in the grassy areas adjacent to the campus Ballroom, Student Union and Library. The project is intended to raise awareness about this ongoing problem.

In 2009, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission reported nearly 197,000 family violence incidents and 111 women killed by their intimate partner.

Each "crime scene" body outline will have information regarding the victim and representatives from Counseling and Psychological Services, UTPA Police and Mujeres Unidas, along with student and faculty volunteers, will be on hand to distribute information and discuss the goals of the exhibit.

Violence against women shouldn't be considered a private or family problem, said CAVE project co-directors Dr. Cynthia Jones and Dr. Sandra Hansmann.

"We hope this awareness-raising exhibit will empower UTPA students and community members to speak out and seek help and to recognize that there are powerful community resources at their disposal to affect change," Jones said.

CAVE, formed in 2011, aims at identifying and eradicating conditions that perpetuate acts of violence against women, children and men. The coalition includes a collaboration of concerned South Texas citizens and businesses in the Rio Grande Valley, UTPA's Pan American Collaboration for Ethics in the professions, Mujeres Unidas and other local nonprofit organizations.

CAVE facilitates victim/survivor services and training for law enforcement officers and K-12 counselors. It also offers research grant and funding opportunities for faculty as well as service learning experiences for students. Last year, CAVE received a grant from the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women to support the Campus Violence Prevention Project to address sexual assault, domestic and dating violence and stalking. The "Remember Me" exhibit is funded partially by this grant.

Go to the CAVE website to learn more about resources available on and off campus for victims of violence or to get more information about CAVE.