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Eastern to host third violence awareness event in memory of Alyssiah Wiley

Published on September 22, 2022

Eastern to host third violence awareness event in memory of Alyssiah Wiley

Basketball tournament flyer.

In light of October being National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Eastern Connecticut State University will host the third annual Alyssiah Wiley End Relationship Violence Awareness Event on Tuesday, Oct. 4, from 12-4 p.m. in the Student Center lobby and Sports Center gymnasium. The event will include guest speakers, tabling for resources and education concerning intimate partner violence, and the annual 3 vs. 3 basketball tournament.

This event honors Alyssiah Wiley, who was an Eastern sophomore majoring in Psychology when her life was taken in 2013 by her ex-boyfriend. "As a community we need to unite and bring awareness, education and empowerment to those who are dealing with intimate partner violence and domestic violence," said Brenda Westberry, Sociology professor and event organizer. "This prevalent issue affects and touches every single one of us in some way. Although October is National Domestic Violence Month, this important work needs to be done every month of the year."

In between basketball games, the event will feature a number of guest speakers, including Keynote speaker Danielle Wong, mayor of Bloomfield, who focuses on raising awareness for intimate partner violence. Other guest speakers include Vannessa Dorantes, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families and Corrinna Martin, Alyssiah's mother, and founder of the nonprofit organization Mothers of Victims Equality (M.O.V.E).

Along with educational tools, the event will provide resources statewide for students and faculty. Westberry emphasized the importance of resources outside of the Eastern community and Willimantic area. "Students are only in school for 15 weeks at a time--what happens when they leave? What if they aren't aware of the resources available in their hometown?"

Several Eastern clubs will also be in attendance, including M.A.L.E.S., F.E.M.A.L.E.S. and the cheerleading team. Students will gather and participate in a Victims Awareness walk that will acknowledge and support the victims of intimate partner and family violence in Connecticut.

Written by Molly Boucher

Categories: Sociology