By: KATELYN FIRESTEIN
On Thursday, Oct. 25, the counseling center and international student services teamed up with local organizations to host a day of service for survivors of physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
Christine Bettcher, a counselor at the student counseling center at IU South Bend, reached out to a variety of community organizations to coordinate for this project. Advocates from the Family Justice Center, S.O.S., and the YWCA were present at the event.
The event was held in the Fireside rooms at The Grill. Anyone who wanted to participate was encouraged to help make a blanket or make a card for survivors. There was also a table with a variety of information on signs of abuse, IU South Bend’s policies and resources for survivors and family members of survivors.
The main purposes of the event were “to encourage compassionate responses and to encourage people to think about how it feels to be a survivor,” and “to inform students and the community about available resources,” according to Bettcher.
Derrik Patty, an intern counselor at counseling services also volunteered his time at the event.
“We just want to support the community and survivors within the community,” explained Patty.
Though each situation is unique, the university has a plan in place to help survivors of assault obtain whatever resources they need.
“We always respect confidentiality and the best interest of our students,” said Bettcher.
The counseling center “listens, shares compassion, provides resources and referrals on campus or in the community that can provide more specialized care and helps survivors to continue to focus on their studies as they process and heal from trauma,” described Bettcher.
International student services, the Title IX office and the Office of Student Conduct are also resources for students on campus who have experienced assault or abuse.
The counseling center plans to continue to serve the community with similar events in the future.
To learn more about resources on campus and sexual assault, visit http://stopsexualviolence.iu.edu.