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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Group on campus seeks to bring women together

Some+members+of+Herstory+following+the+event+on+Oct.+9
Some members of Herstory following the event on Oct. 9

Herstory, a women’s group that is reaching out to women at the University of Massachusetts Boston and giving them a voice to share their story, held its first session on domestic violence on Oct.9.
Jennifer Yerdon, a Domestic Violence Outreach Education Manager, talked about identifying symptoms of domestic violence, how to help a friend who’s going through it, and about the domestic violence hotline.
Liliana Mickle, Coordinator of the Success Boston Initiative, mentioned that the importance of having a women’s group on campus where they can freely express themselves is something that is part of the college educational experience.
“Real life affects what happens in school and how successful you are, and if you’re not dealing with the issues that are coming up in your life, you’re not going to always be successful in the classroom,” said Mickle. “We need to treat and work with the whole person, not just the student.” 
The sessions organized by Herstory are participatory; attendees are encouraged, if they wish, to share their stories while remaining anonymous. Herstory’s members distributed papers for participants, inviting them to share whatever violence related to experiences they have had. Once everyone was done writing the papers were crumpled and thrown in the middle of the circle. Then everyone picked up a crumpled note and read out loud what someone else had written.
This helped many attendees to share their experiences. Many found this activity very helpful, “Even if people aren’t being abused, just hearing this stuff it will hopefully be in the back of their mind, and if they see some of the symptoms of domestic abuse in their life, hopefully they’ll be able to handle it. That’s something that I really needed when I was going through it,” shared Victoria Stevenson from Palmer, MA.
Herstory is part of the Success Boston Initiative, which strives to increase the student graduation rate at UMass Boston. The group is planning on having discussion events every month and they would be open to the whole UMass Boston community, including faculty and other staff members.