The NU campus community and local agencies came together to display and view artwork reflecting the journeys, experiences, hopes, and dreams of the survivors of domestic violence who created them during last year’s “Living in Light: The Art of Healing” event at the Castellani Art Museum.

Niagara University’s Office of Violence Prevention & Education and its community partners will present an exhibit of artwork created by survivors of domestic violence as the centerpiece of an Oct. 4 event at the university’s Castellani Art Museum called “Living in Light: The Art of Healing.”

The art will be available for viewing from 4-6:30 p.m., and there will be a brief program at 5 p.m. The event is being held in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and in connection with the Red Flag Campaign, a national public awareness initiative designed to encourage college students to intervene when they see a warning sign (“red flag”) of partner violence.

“Intimate partner or dating violence is a pervasive problem among college students. As a result, we are taking a proactive approach to provide a bystander effort to decrease this epidemic on our campus and in the local community. This event allows us to not only raise awareness about dating violence, but also to provide an opportunity for our community to learn more about the services and resources available in our area,” said Emily Pike, director of the Office of Violence Prevention and Education.

The event was first held in 2016 and organized by Dr. Dana Radatz, associate professor of criminology & criminal justice and director of the graduate program in criminal justice administration; and Dr. Jennifer Beebe, associate professor and coordinator of the clinical mental health counseling program. Both professors are still actively involved in its organization.

“This event speaks directly to the incredible community support available in Niagara County,” said Dr. Radatz. “Not only are we fortunate to partner with so many agencies and organizations that do amazing work to address domestic violence and support survivors, but also each year so many campus and community members show their support by attending the event and bearing witness to the messages shared by survivors through their art.” 

“Intimate partner or dating violence is a pervasive problem among college students,” added Dr. Beebe. “As a result, we are taking a proactive approach to provide a bystander effort to decrease this epidemic on our campus and in the local community.”

Several community organizations are collaborating to host the event, including Niagara University, Castellani Art Museum, Niagara County Sheriff’s Office – Victim Assistance Unit & Domestic Violence Intervention Program, Niagara Falls Police Department – Domestic Violence Unit, Pinnacle Community Services, Seven Dancers Coalition, and the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier.

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