Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Bentley’s wife, sororities plan UA’s Hope Week


Alabama’s first lady, Dianne Bentley, and national sororities are coming together to celebrate Hope Week.

Hope Week, which took place from Oct. 7-13, is a weeklong initiative to bring awareness of domestic violence on college campuses across the state.

Bentley is featured in a PSA circulating around Alabama that promotes HopeLine, a Verizon Wireless-sponsored program that collects abandoned cell phones and turns them into lifelines for victims. She has been an advocate of the program for nearly a year.

“After speaking with several abuse shelters and the local Family Justice Center, I learned more about this program and wanted to get involved,” Bentley said. “It is such a simple way to make a difference, and anyone can participate.”

Although domestic violence is often associated with abuse towards women, HopeLine is for any victim. There is no discrimination against race, religion, sex or socioeconomic class.

“Many men will not admit that they are in an abusive situation, and it is easy to think that victims are only women, but abuse can happen to anyone,” Bentley said.

Bentley said she hopes the program will gain plenty of recognition because more phones means more victims who are able to receieve help.

“You never know when a small thing like a cell phone could change a life,” Bentley said.

She has also partnered with Alpha Chi Omega and Alpha Kappa Alpha chapters throughout the state during Hope Week.

Alpha Chi Omega at the University will host its third annual “Walk in Her Shoes” event on Oct. 18 at 4:30 p.m., where men race in heels to support domestic violence awareness.

The money raised from the event will go to Turning Point, a local shelter for women and children.

Lauren Hatchett, the vice president of Alpha Chi Omega’s philanthropy, said the chapter is interested in doing what it can for a good cause.

“It affects so many people,” Hatchett said. “We want to adopt something that we could help with.”

OVERSET FOLLOWS:Also, Alpha Chi Omega and Alpha Kappa Alpha are competing with other sororities to get the most signatures from family and friends pledging to support the prevention and awareness of domestic violence. The winner receives a $2,500 donation to the Alabama domestic violence organization of their choosing.

With October being domestic violence awareness month, several other events are happening on campus to encourage awareness.

Reanae McNealis is hosting a “Faces of Violence” lecture in honor of Dating and Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

According to the University’s Students Affairs website, she will share stories of domestic violence survivors, poetry, statistics, and her story of being a survivor of domestic violence in college.

Bentley had encouraging words for those facing domestic abuse.

“Have courage and respect for yourself. You deserve better, and you are better,” Bentley said. “No one deserves poor treatment. Everyone deserves to be loved.”

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