Student Org Spotlight – DOVE: Domestic & Oppressive Violence Education

DOVE: Domestic & Oppressive Violence Education

What is the goal of your student organization?

The overall goals of the group are simple: 1) to educate and 2) to support.

We seek to educate individuals, survivors and allies alike, about domestic violence, dating violence, intimate partner violence, interpersonal violence, and other similar forms of violence. This umbrella includes (but is not limited to) discussions relating to: how to recognize and navigate unhealthy relationships, and how to build healthy ones.

We also aim to support survivors by creating a safe environment for individuals to process and heal from their trauma.

Who is welcome to join your student organization? *
Any Binghamton student!

How can students connect with your organization?

Why did you first join this student organization?
DOVE was just chartered in late October, so the other founders and I first spoke of creating DOVE this past April. Some of us being survivors, and having had difficulty accessing resources that specifically addressed these types of issues, we decided that having a Binghamton organization dedicated to providing the relevant support and education was long overdue.

What are some examples of events or programs that your student organization participates in or plans?
Since this is our first semester, we really focused on hosting GBMs that promoted a lot of engaging conversation. Some of the weekly topics included: signs of a toxic relationship, the new title IX regulations, PTSD & trauma bonding, and as the semester comes to an end, we are beginning to focus on how to foster healthy relationships. We have collaborated with REACH, 20:1 and PULSE as well in order to foster an even richer dialogue.

Next semester, we want to emphasize getting to know yourself, your attachment style, and how learning about yourself can give rise to healthy relationships, both romantic and otherwise. We will hopefully be hosting more workshops, and projects that promote thought about those areas.

Finally, an event that we would like to develop, but may be difficult to in the near future given the global pandemic, is giving presentations at high schools in the Binghamton area. We would love the opportunity to talk with younger students in order to bring these issues to light before individuals find themselves in an abusive situation. It is so important for everyone to know where they can go if they are faced with a toxic relationship or interaction and that there are people who can and want to help them.

As a student leader, how important is it for students to get involved on campus?
It is extremely essential for students to get involved on campus. As a senior, I would tell underclassmen, as well as my fellow upperclassmen who haven’t had the chance to become involved yet, that joining different organizations not only helps you in terms of meeting new people and hearing other viewpoints, but it helps you find your interests.  Academic classes of course provide a space where we as students are able to explore our intellectual curiosities, but other organizations, whether they be social, athletic, academic, or otherwise, allow you to get to know your Binghamton peers while learning in a casual and supportive environment of your choice.

What skills do you feel members gain from being a part of your organization?
The main skill that members gain from being a part of DOVE is that you learn how to think critically about the issues that many young adults are facing today with respect to domestic, dating, intimate partner, and interpersonal violence. You also are able to gain an understanding of your rights, both here at Binghamton University (specifically, Title IX) and legally. In the spring, in fact, we hope to have a guest speaker who speaks to our organization about how the legal system works in regards to pressing charges, whether it be for stalking, harassment, sexual assault, rape, abuse, etc. We really care about giving our members the tools they need to make informed decisions, addressing in particular, the different steps they can take if interactions in their life become toxic.

By Kyla Anderson
Kyla Anderson Kyla Anderson