As part of their Social Movements
class, 11 HPU students are raising awareness about domestic
violence with other local organizations that provide resources
The students, who are full-time workers, military spouses, part-time
workers, and parents, voted for a topic and domestic violence
was picked because it’s not only a local issue but a global
one. The mission of the project is to raise awareness on domestic
violence through education, especially among HPU students.
For those students who have experienced domestic violence, seen
it, or know someone who is involved in it and felt like no one
cares, we have news,” said Melanie Guenthenspberger. “Your
voice is heard.”
Students involved in the project educated themselves by attending
domestic violence court sessions at the Family Court. They are
also visible at the downtown campus with booth activities on
Fridays, and participate in several events, such as the Men’s
March 2008, which occured earlier in the semester.
During the annual Men’s March Against Violence, approximately
a hundred men, women, and children gathered to march from the
Father Damien statue, through downtown and then circled back
for a press conference at the Queen Lili‘uokalani statue.
Men’s March was not only a great opportunity for participating
group members and other students, but for legislators, law enforcement,
church, and military to speak up.
I was amazed to see so many men marching for this cause as they
are usually in the background,” said Mahealani, a local
“Not only did so many officials show up, but the active participation by
students from various schools made me think that we are doing the right thing,” added
Guenthenspberger, who is part of the project group.
Another success for the project group was to see victims of domestic violence
stop by and check out the resources the group offers at the students booth on
Fridays at the downtown campus.
It almost brought me to tears when they thanked me for doing this,” Guenthenspberger
said. “I had to thank them, because they were so strong and survived this.”
The group’s agenda for November is to volunteer at GirlFest Hawai‘i.
GirlFest’s goal is to change peer culture in order to prevent increasing
violence against women and girls through education, art and positive representations
of women. The festival incorporates film, music, art, spoken word, and dance
complemented by a conference involving panels, lectures, and outreach workshops
for children and adults that address themes such as body image, identity, empowerment,
social change and methods on how to prevent violence in relationships.
In December the project group will host a food and clothes drive at the downtown
campus and donate the collected items to a shelter that supports domestic violence
For more information of any of the upcoming events, visit the group’s booth
on Fort Street.