On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking; one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime; 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault each year; and 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women. On Sunday April 28th, the Alpha Chi Omega (AXO) chapter on campus hosted their annual event to decrease those numbers, fight domestic violence and raise money for domestic violence victims. Carlie Wysocke, ’14, a member of AXO since second semester of her freshman year and the current Vice President of Philanthropy for AXO ran the event this year.
The Tossing out Domestic Violence Bags Tournament was a fundraiser to raise money for the Women and Children’s Horizon Center in Kenosha. The bags tournament is paired up with the annual Week of Hope for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. During the Week of Hope, the sorority has an AXO Man Pageant, a self-defense class, an influential speaker and a candlelight vigil. The goal of the Women and Children’s Horizons Center is to provide support, education, training and healing to victims of sexual and domestic violence. Wysocke said, “Women and Children’s Horizon Center is a local shelter for families that have nowhere else to go. This shelter offers these families a place to stay, food, supplies and simply a chance for a new life.” AXO has been contributing to Women and Children’s Horizons as long as she has been a member of the sorority.
Wysocke said, “One of our alumni, Katie Stavrides, [Class of ‘12] was a huge advocate of the center and worked directly with them for her major here at Carthage. Aside from working there herself, assisting the counselors of the center, she really encouraged everyone she came in contact with, not just Alpha Chi’s, to spend some time volunteering or donating small supplies such as travel hair care products. She really dedicated herself to the shelter and it made everyone else want to help even more.”
Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of coercive behavior that is used by one person to gain power and control over another, which may include the use of physical and sexual violence, and verbal and emotional abuse. There are many signs of an abusive relationship, which include feeling afraid of your partner, avoiding certain topics out of fear of anger, feeling that you can’t do anything right, believing that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated or feeling emotionally numb or helpless. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, or if you would like to donate, contact Women and Children’s Horizons at 262-652-9900. Alpha Chi Omega members pride themselves on doing everything they can to prevent domestic violence, and being “Real. Strong. Women.”