(Gainesville, Ga) The Brenau chapter of Alpha Chi Omega held healthy relationships week for the entire school. There were raffles, information, and a gathering with guest speakers. At the events, Alpha Chi Omega had pizza and drinks to entertain guests while learning about awareness and healthy relationships. Alpha Chi Omega’s philanthropy is domestic abuse and awareness.
Part of the reason why domestic violence is common is because of unhealthy relationships. This was understood and told by philanthropy chair Devin Horan, a sophomore, health science (Pre-OT) major. Devin then continued to talk about how domestic violence is part of unhealthy relationships, and that the people who were sitting in the room are the ones who have the opportunity and value to make domestic violence stop, and bring awareness to the issue. After giving a few points on ways to spread awareness, Devin introduced a police officer from Gainesville, an attorney of Hall County, and a director of a safe place for those who are victims.
The first speaker was the officer, who had experience dealing with a domestic violence, and unhealthy relationship. He explained to the crowd that most of the victims are manipulated and held against their own accord. The one instance he told us about was a time that he was on a case of his own that they had gotten a complaint, after investigating, he found a woman in the back and the ‘head of the house’ in the back. The officer then tried his best to work through the situation, after finding a way to get the woman to come with, they could not find the woman’s shoes so she could walk outside. After looking around, it turned out the ‘head of the house’ had hidden her shoes in the oven so she could not find them and could not leave. Luckily once the shoes were found, the officer was able to start helping the woman get out of an unhealthy relationship. In this example, he wanted the audience to know that these are how far unhealthy relationships can get, so find ways to help others or get out of the relationships yourself before it is too late.
The attorney then came to speak, bouncing off the officer’s experience. She talked about how to start healthy relationships, whether it be in the family, friends, or romantically; and gave advice on how to manifest those healthy relationships. She presented a PowerPoint with a list of apps, good apps to use, and weird or bad apps that trigger unhealthy relationships. Seeing the different types of apps that are used indirectly to stalk was scary, yet informative to the crowd so they knew what to look for with themselves and other they engage and have relationships with as well. The better apps explained were reassuring that someone can be safe, and in healthy relationships by providing quick phone calls or texts to friends and the cops for help. These apps not only help the person using them, they reaffirm healthy relationships by building trust and a common ground upon those friendships.
The last speaker was a director of a safe place for victims. She has seen and worked with thousands for years on the issue of domestic violence and unhealthy relationships. She explained some scenarios and let everyone know that there are thousands of calls daily with these problems. She explained that there are volunteer opportunities and their hotline to get involved to create awareness, and help diminish domestic violence itself.
While the gathering Thursday was heavy in heart and feeling, it was positive and informative. After the gathering, it was overheard and exclaimed by many that it makes them want to make a difference and have healthy relationships with each other.