Manchester University
Oak Leaves

October 27, 2017

'Private Violence' Screening Sheds Light on Societal Issue 

Lexy Underhill 

October is generally known for kids trick-or-treating, going to haunted houses, or even Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Although those things do happen in October, this month also shines a light on domestic violence.

To educate students about this topic, “Private Violence,” a feature-length documentary film about intimate partner violence, was shown on Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Manchester University Fort Wayne campus as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Director of CARE Initiative, Jillian Watts, had a discussion with students and faculty afterward about the warning signs of domestic violence. “Since the event was located in Fort Wayne and not actually on Manchester campus, the turnout was under par, but it was a great discussion overall,” Watts said.

”Domestic violence is also inclusively called intimate partner violence,” Watts continued. “It is when individuals use power and control within a relationship that threatens a person’s well-being.” The screening identified the warning signs of abusive behavior, and encouraged people to seek help and make reports of incidents. It also focused the importance of having a trustworthy person that is able to serve as a trustworthy support.

Watts describes the different types of domestic violence. “The types of domestic violence consist of physical, sexual, emotional and financial forms,” she said. “Anybody can experience domestic violence, and we are just trying to make people more aware of situations and what they need to look out for.” On average, nearly 20 people per minute are being physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.

“Many people do not know the causes and effects of domestic violence,” Watts continued. “Many effects could be financial loss, physical injuries, depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts or attempts. It is very important to know the signs and to get help immediately.”

Watts agrees that there are many reasons why the “Private Violence” screening was important. “This is a societal issue that impacts many families, households and friends, but it is not discussed much,” she said. The film was shown is in partnership with the Fort Wayne Police Department Victim Assistance.

Last year, Manchester was granted $300,000 from the Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women to aid in prevention of domestic/dating violence, stalking and sexual violence. “This was a big step to get the word around that domestic violence actually does happen,” Watts said.

The film was not the only thing being discussed that night. In an earlier Title IX session, Watts discussed a real-life situation about her own experience of domestic violence to show how it has affected her everyday work lifestyle. “The film and the discussion is aimed to help even one person in need,” Watts said. “It may help someone to get resources and [may help someone] realize when relationships become unhealthy. I want this conversation to continue about relationships and what is and what is not healthy.”