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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 19, 2008

Public can learn how to support victims of dating, domestic violence Feb. 27

The University of Iowa Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC) will present "Building Bridges of Solidarity," a program to develop strategies of support for victims of dating and domestic violence, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at WRAC, located at 130 N. Madison St. in Iowa City.

The program for friends of the victims of dating and domestic violence will be free and open to the public, although registration is required. Those interested in participating should contact Gabriela Rivera at by Monday, Feb. 25.

"Our goal is to increase students' awareness about domestic/dating violence and to enhance their skills for supporting friends or family members who may be victims," WRAC Director Monique DiCarlo said.

"The support a survivor receives when she or he comes forward has a direct link to whether or not the survivor continues to seek emotional support, chooses to make a formal report to law enforcement, or chooses to seek other legal remedies like protection orders."

Social worker Eli Silva-Martinez, a specialist in helping victims of domestic violence, will lead a discussion with participants in which they will be able to learn more about the topic, exchange ideas on how to be supportive to someone they know, and learn about what they can do to address these issues. Silva-Martinez is also a graduate student in the School of Social Work in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

"Building Bridges of Solidarity" is sponsored by WRAC, the Domestic Violence Intervention Program and the UI Center for Diversity and Enrichment.

The program, supported by a federal grant from the Office on Violence Against Women, is part of a collaborative, campuswide effort to address gender-based violence. The project currently includes education programs for all first-year Iowa students; training for hearing officers; ongoing educational programs; development of a men's anti-violence group; a support group for survivors; and educational materials provided to victims by the Johnson County Attorney's Office.

For more information or special accommodations to attend this program, call 319-335-1486 or e-mail

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Monique DiCarlo, WRAC, 319-335-1486,; Lois J. Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077,; Writer: Gloria Hurtado