Domestic Violence Awareness Month starts conversations

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. To help raise awareness about the issue, Minnesota State Mankato will hold eight events throughout the month.

The first event, “It Happens To US Too with MayTong,” took place Monday.

MayTong Chang, the advocacy program director for Transforming Generations, visited MSU along with Schoua Na, the youth organizing coordinator, to speak about the experiences of the Hmong community and the struggles women in that community face. Transforming Generations is an organization that strives to educate and transform cultural and power dynamics to end gender-based violence.

Aiming to be a voice for and raise awareness of these struggles, the series “It Happens to US Too” acts as a platform for groups to share personal experiences. During Monday’s event, attendees participated in activities and discussed how gender violence affects different age groups.

“It is a great way to get others to talk about awareness or to talk about supporting victims and survivors,” Chang said. “Pay it forward. When you learn something good, share it with other people so they are able to learn something good as well. How can people go and learn something and keep it to themselves?”

This series’ goal is to learn techniques to be a better advocate for others who may experience such hardships.

“Different skills to be better allies, especially our male counterparts, and how to become better allies for women and girls,” Chang said.

Their next event is “Brave Hearts: What is Domestic Violence?” which takes place  Thursday. 

“I hope they take away good advice on how to best support victims and survivors in these unfortunate situations,” Shoadow Rolan, interim director of the Violence Awareness and Response Program at MSU, said. “Learning how to approach a situation and give resources they can give to our students and meet them wherever they are in their process.”

VARP offers confidential advocacy and programs for survivors of relationship abuse and sexual violence. Their office is located in the Centennial Student Union in room 218.

Those who want to show their support for survivors can do so by attending the events and wearing the color purple.

Header Photo: This diagram that participants of “It Happens To US Too with MayTong Chang” collaborated on, showcases a Lifetime Spiral of Gender Violence. (Julia Barton/The Reporter)

Write to Julia Barton at

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