Safe Passage brings awareness to public about domestic violence


Protesters against sexual and violent crimes march down 1st St. in DeKalb Friday evening for the “Take Back The Night” March and Speak Out, hosted by Safe Passage. Signs read messages such as “Consent Is Sexy” and “Stop The Violence”.

By Erin Kolb

Safe Passage is educating the community by participating in domestic violence-related events this month.

October is national Domestic Violence Awareness month. DeKalb advocacy group Safe Passage has provided services to the community since 1981, and on Monday held its 19th annual domestic violence vigil. Marjorie Askins, Safe Passage public educator, said the vigil was held to raise awareness of domestic violence in the community.

“A big part of the evening is giving survivors a chance to share,” Askins said. “Our mission is to reduce and prevent domestic violence in DeKalb County.”

Askins said the event was aimed at educating the community on the prevalence of domestic violence, with the hopes of causing awareness. The second part is mostly for the survivors, Askins said, and participants had the chance to share their experiences and see support from fellow victims and the community.

Another event Safe Passage was involved in was Take Back the Night, which was held Wednesday. Iffat Fathima, undergraduate student leader in the Women’s Rights Alliance, said this event has taken place for about 15 years.

“Our mission is to focus on women and girls in the community, and educate them on issues such as women’s health,” Fathima said. “We want to improve gender relations between men and women.”

Sorority Alpha Phi Gamma was also involved in the event this year, said philanthropy chair and rush chair Sharlyne Poggio. Poggio said to show their support, Alpha Phi Gamma members made fliers for the event and held signs to motivate the groups present at the event.

“Our national philanthropy is domestic violence towards women,” Poggio said. “In order for us to spread the word and get a bigger voice, we have to get involved. Alpha Phi Gamma doesn’t tolerate violence and we hope to help everyone feel the same way.”