The Week Without Violence started off at Seton Hill University (SHU) with The Voice of Truth on Oct 13. The Voice of Truth featured a dramatic reading with an open discussion afterwards. The Drama Ministry of St. James A.M.E. Church presented the event.
The dramatic reading performed at The Voice of Truth told the story of a teenage girl who entered an abusive relationship. The play chronicled the signs of abuse that appeared throughout her relationship, leading to her untimely death. The play highlighted how domestic violence can be psychologically, emotionally, physically and economically harming. Later in the dramatic reading, a narrator would read passages about love from First Corinthians.
“It helped to have a narrative performance rather than just having data,” said Dr. David von Sclichten, a religion professor and campus minister at SHU. “It makes it easier to relate to and apply.”
The members of The Drama Ministry talked more in depth about the important issue of domestic violence after the dramatic reading. Warning signs of an abusive relationship include your partner acting possessive, controlling and demeaning towards you.
“The whole purpose today is to make sure people know the warning signs so they can understand and get some help,” said Daphne Austin, the writer and director of the play and member of The Drama Ministry.
When asked what to do if you feel you are in an abusive relationship, or know someone who is, Austin said, “The first step should be to try and find a hotline, but first tell somebody you trust.” The speakers suggested the Blackburn Center Hotline, which can be reached at 724-836-1122.