Students gathered in Illinois Hall to learn about domestic violence awareness through a lecture given by Joey Carrillo, Elmhurst University ’13 alum, on Oct. 19.
Carrillo, an equal justice works fellow for Legal Aid Chicago, works litigating domestic violence, child endangerment, and protection order cases.
Carrillo highlighted that domestic violence laws are gender neutral, despite the misconception that women are the ones mainly impacted by domestic violence.
“The ways in which our society’s gendered understanding of domestic violence has really created a problem for practitioners like myself, who represent not only women but survivors of all genders and sexual orientations,” Carrillo said. “The laws are gender neutral and they do apply to all survivors.”
During the lecture, Carrillo highlighted and debunked common myths surrounding domestic violence. Some of the myths he mentioned were that domestic violence isn’t serious, victims provoke the violence, and domestic violence is an anger management issue.
These myths negatively impact how people view domestic violence and Carrillo mentions how thinking people can escape these violent situations is harmful to victims.
“It is a very privileged view to see violence and escaping a violent relationship as something that anybody should be able to do and it’s just not the case,” Carrillo said to the audience members.
Carrillo shifted the lecture to dating and violence on college campuses. According to data from the department of justice, 32 percent of college students report dating violence from a previous partner and 21 percent report violence by a current partner.
He notes college students are in a particular position of vulnerability, making them more susceptible to peer pressure since they are far away from home for an extended period of the time for the first time, in most cases.
Carrillo highlights legal mandates, such as Title IX, that are in place to protect students if they are victims of domestic violence.
“There are a lot of federal mandates and rights that college students have, especially to try to ameliorate the issue of sexual violence on campus,” said Carrillo. “But it’s not perfect like many of our systems.”
One of the issues Carrillo highlights is victims will oftentimes have to continue living in the same residence halls or attending the same classes as their abusers.
To combat this at EU, Hannah Gunter, coordinator for sexual and interpersonal violence prevention, interjected and told students they are able to file a no contact order without having to go through a formal legal process or for their classes to be changed if somebody who is harming them is a classmate.
A no contact order filed through EU is listed as an “interim measure” in the 2018 non-discrimination and non-harassment policy.
The 2021-22 student handbook describes a no contact order as, “the student may be required to not have any contact with a particular student, employee, or group of people pending the outcome of an investigation and/or administrative hearing.”
October is recognized as domestic violence awareness month and Carrillo’s lecture was one of the events hosted by EU to spread awareness about the issue to the campus community.