Students learn to support survivors | Event series combats domestic violence


Angela Kaminski, licensed clinical social worker, speaks to students about supporting survivors of domestic violence at the Got a Minute? Series Wednesday night.

By Morgan Fink

DeKALB — NIU officials continued to host their Got a Minute? Series for university and DeKalb community members Wednesday to shed light on the resources available to domestic violence survivors.

The four-part series, which is being offered as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, is being facilitated by Affirmative Action and Equity Compliance officials. The office “administers the policies, procedures and laws that govern fairness, equality and related compliance for NIU,” according to its website. Officials have also collaborated with representatives of Safe Passage, the NIU Police Department and NIU Counseling and Consultation Services.

The events give attendees a chance to examine topics relating to domestic violence affecting students and campuses across the nation, according to the office’s website.

NIU Counseling and Consultation Services presented their event How to Help a Victim/Survivor of Domestic Violence during this Wednesday’s session. Angela Kaminski, licensed clinical social worker, and Melissa Meinen, doctoral intern for Counseling and Consultation Services, spoke to students about supporting a survivor of domestic violence and led discussions with attendees.

“Statistics show that one in four people are impacted by [domestic violence],” Kaminski said. “But at some point, everybody comes across someone that can use support in a situation like this.”

Other topics Kaminski and Meinen covered included the spectrum of an abusive relationship, how to help a survivor leave an abusive relationship and other counseling resources.

“It is really important to be sensitive when speaking about these topics,” Meinen said. “It is also important to be direct about what things are and what behaviors are abusive and labeling these behaviors so people are aware of them is important.”

Alpha Phi Gamma Sorority Inc. is co-hosting the series as part of their ‘Fight Against Domestic Violence’ philanthropy, said Clarisa Sandoval, senior special education major and Alpha Phi Gamma member.

“It’s always nice to come to these events and gather more information and learn about more resources on campus just because there is always new resources we can go to,” Sandoval said. “It’s important just to come to these events to be more knowledgeable and help others.”

The informational presentations are being held every Wednesday throughout the month of October from noon to 1 p.m. in the Holmes Student Center, Heritage Room.