Lancaster – October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and students in the Ohio University Lancaster | Pickerington Human Services Technology program are taking part in events on campus and in the community to bring attention to the issue.
"Students believe they should be involved with these efforts because one aspect of Human Services work is advocacy and education," said HST Program Coordinator Dr. Lisa Skeens. "It is important to raise awareness about the causes, symptoms and support available for domestic violence victims."
HST students have participated in "Stephy's Run" in Lancaster. The event was a 5K walk/run that raised money for a local domestic violence shelter in honor of a woman who was killed during a domestic violence incident last year. The HST student organization recently hosted a workshop on campus about having healthy relationships in college. Students learned how to identify healthy and unhealthy relationship traits and how to maintain healthy boundaries to be successful in college. Many HST students also plan to participate in "Take Back the Night" and an anti-violence workshop on campus next Monday.
"Various students in our program want to work with domestic violence victims after graduation," said Skeens. "Our students also want to raise awareness to our student body, as domestic violence can cause students to drop out of school or impede their academic success."
The Human Services Technology program provides students with knowledge, values and skills applicable to a variety of employment settings, such as mental health, chemical dependency, social services and corrections. HST graduates are employed as case managers, mental health technicians, geriatric aides, chemical dependency counselor assistants, social work assistants and child care advocates.
"Fairfield County has a large substance abuse problem and encompasses some rural areas, which make the county more at risk for the problem of domestic violence," said Skeens. HST students at OUL are able to participate in the Human Services Student Association. The group offers service projects in the community and on campus and also allows students to have various social activities through the semester.