Students shed light on abuse

October 31, 2013


Sponsored luminaries surround the Lady of the Mist, including some that were purchased by the victim’s families.  - Photo by Austin Vining

Sponsored luminaries surround the Lady of the Mist, including some that were purchased by the victim’s families. – Photo by Austin Vining

Staff Reporter


For all the advances in human society, domestic violence still exists. Not only does it still exist, it affects one woman every nine seconds in the U.S. alone.


The Domestic Abuse Resistance Team paired up with the Alpha Chi Omega sorority for the goal of raising student awareness during the second annual “Light the Lady” candlelight vigil.


Madison Byles, vice president of philanthropy for Alpha Chi Omega, said the event was planned to get students involved and aware of domestic violence.


“We’ve been selling luminaries for the past three days,” Byles, a senior marketing major, said. “The buyers could decorate them and come lay them around the Lady of the Mist in support of D.A.R.T.”




Byles said all proceeds from the luminaries will go to D.A.R.T.


“We probably raised around $180,” she said. “Each one was $1, and after our three-day sale ended on Friday, we had $161.”


Terrie Queen Autrey, founder of D.A.R.T. and current community advocate, said she felt the true extent of domestic violence’s reach was unknown by many.


“I’m sure that people do not understand, really, the extent and severity of domestic violence, especially in our community,” Autrey said. “If you think about it as if one in four people were suffering from domestic violence, then going by the crowd we have here tonight, that’s at least 50 or more people.”


Autrey told two stories of domestic violence victims during the event.


“One of the ladies in my stories was a success story we had at D.A.R.T.,” she said. “She went on to receive an education and write a children’s book.”


Sadly, the other story was not as happy.


“The other lady was murdered in West Monroe at the hands of her husband,” she said. “Her story was told to me by her college-age daughter, who’s doing what she can to bring awareness to the situation and spread the story of her mother’s murder by her stepfather, even though it’s painful.”




Carolyn Davis, social chair for the Panhellenic Executive Council and member of Alpha Chi, said the event is a part of the Women’s Week event.


“During this week we provide numerous activities for the girls to participate in,” Davis, a senior marketing major, said. “Last year’s inaugural event made its debut during Women’s Week also.”


There were men present and in participation, as well.


James Roberts, a member of the Zeta Chi social fraternity, said he and his fraternity brothers came to watch and view their investment.


“We came to watch the luminaries and see the ones we bought,” said Roberts, a sophomore history and business major. “It actually became a learning experience for me because I got to hear about cases that were happening as close as West Monroe. I didn’t previously think it was hitting so close to home like that.”


Autrey said she was thankful for Tech students and the night’s turnout.


“I was especially thankful for the Zeta Chi members and other male students here,” she said. “The role of men in speaking out against domestic violence is a powerful role, and when men attend public awareness events and take a stand, the community watches.”


Email comments to ije001@latech.edu.



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