The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Cultural Awareness Center hosts domestic abuse discussion

Staff and students share personal stories

Kayla Nick-Kearney | Staff Writer
[email protected]

The Cultural Awareness Center helped students understand and learn the consequences of domestic violence March 25, in response to media coverage of music celebrities Chris Brown and Rihanna’s domestic dispute.

Lisa Gunderson, City College psychology professor and Staff Resource coordinator, and Victoria Henderson, Cultural Awareness Center coordinator, organized the event as a means for people to ask questions and share stories. According to Henderson, the forum was originally planned to discuss women’s health issues, but since domestic violence is the leading cause of injury among women, it was deemed an appropriate topic.

Henderson said that 85 percent to 95 percent of domestic violence victims are women. However, the aggressors are not always of the opposite sex.

“We have domestic violence happening in same-sex relationships,” Gunderson said.

Men, too, have been victims of domestic violence.

“He called the police and they laughed at him,” Alkjo Iturriza, a City College student said of his male friend’s experience after being abused by his wife.

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“Some men put a rope around their wives’ neck to hang them,” Gunderson said of the men she counseled.

She described their behavior as a mental health issue.

Others spoke about encounters and confrontations they’ve had with people involved in abusive relationships.

“It’s not something you choose,” City College student Ebony Smith said. “There’s a lot of good times that keep you in, until he explodes.”

Ricardo Sepulveda, a music major, recommended not fighting with the abuser but being supportive of the victim. He recounted his own confrontation with a person who was allegedly abusing a friend.

“I went and fought with him and when she went back to him, I was the only one with the problem,” Sepulveda said.

Although Gunderson said she has worked with domestic violence offenders, she has strong convictions against any abusive act.

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