In 1999, the sisters of Sigma Psi Zeta formally adopted our National Philanthropy: To Combat the Violence Against Women. As the first Asian-Interest sorority to take on cause, Sigma Psi Zeta hopes to bring awareness of the issue to our universities and communities at large. For over a decade now, Sigmas have built a campaign to help those affected by this tragic violence, to educate the community about the nature of this problem, and to empower our sisters to make a lasting commitment to the issue of violence against women.
What is domestic violence?
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in four women will experience domestic violence within her lifetime. This statistic is especially relevant to college women, because females between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is defined by the National Domestic Violence hotline as "any behaviour within a relationship used to gain control or power over a partner". This behaviour can occur between people who are married, dating, or simply living together, whether the relationship is romantic or familial. Domestic violence includes intimidating, manipulating, humiliating and injuring another person.
There are three main types of Domestic Violence - physical, sexual, and emotional/psychological abuse. However, in many situations, victims of domestic violence experience a combination of two or more types.
Emotional abuse is the most difficult form of domestic violence to pin down, because it does not leave tangible scars, but it is the most common form. Emotional abuse targets a victim’s self-esteem, aiming to diminish the victim’s identity and make her/him dependent on the other person. Emotional abuse includes all types of verbal abuse and emotional manipulation, such as insulting or calling the victim names, isolating the victim from family or friends, withholding affection as a manipulative weapon, and threatening harm to the victim, or to children or pets.
However, when threats are carried out, the type of abuse crosses from emotional abuse to physical abuse. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 15% of people in prison in 1997 were there for a crime against a family member and 22% of murders in 2002 were family murders. Physical abuse includes any harming physical action (such as hitting, kicking, biting, choking) as well as more indirect actions, such as locking the victim alone in a room, keeping the victim from seeking medical attention. Using force in sexual situations is another unfortunate form of physical abuse, which is often classified by itself.
The most commonly recognized forms of sexual abuse are incest, molestation and rape, but all forms of sexual abuse are serious. Sexual abuse includes demanding that you dress or act in a sexual manner and physically abusing you during sex.
Although women are the victimized gender in most instances of domestic violence, men can suffer abuse as well. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence states that in 2001, 85% of domestic violence victims were female, and 15% were male.
Want to know more? Check out any of the following links to get more information about Domestic Violence:
What does our chapter do to get involved?
As part of our National efforts to Combat Violence Against Women, Tau Chapter initiates and partakes in many philanthropy events throughout the year. Our philanthropy is one that truly embodies and compliments the values upon which our organization was founded and is therefore something that our sisters are genuinely passionate about. One of our major points of recognition on campus is our philanthropy. We are known for doing the Clothesline Project every October and have even been featured in the PublicAsian, an on-campus publication, for our work in Domestic Violence.
Past and recent Tau Chapter contributions to our Philanthropy include, but are not limited to:
Distributed information and purple ribbons in front of the Student Union
Speaker from the Health Center’s SAFER
On-campus workshops with the Domestic Violence Resource Project (DVRP)
Community Outreach Director Hannah Sin spoke on racism and sexism in relation to DV
Annual SPEAK Charity Dinner to raise money and awareness
Assisted ASHA (Asian Women's Self Help Awareness) in compiling a contact directory
Created Teen DV Awareness Cards for DCCADV
Held a Relationship Workshop with UMCP Pi Delta Psi
Co-Sponsored Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Program (SARPP), with Tau’s Holly *Malibu* Lui as an educator!
Survivor Garden Dedication
Co-Sponsored “Break the Silence! Stop DV feat. Becky Lee” at Stamp Student Union
Active participation in Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)