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Friday January 21st

Project Dinah aims to create an alliance against violence

(From right to left) Holly Sit, Alban Foulser, and Esther Davis pass out free shirts in the Pit Monday afternoon.
Buy Photos (From right to left) Holly Sit, Alban Foulser, and Esther Davis pass out free shirts in the Pit Monday afternoon.

Citing a Department of Justice-funded report on campus sexual assault, Frumkin noted that one in five women will be sexually assaulted during their time in college.

“So just doing the math, we know there’s a lot of women at Carolina,” she said. “So that’s a lot of women, and even one is too many.”

Allies against interpersonal violence are coming together this week for Project Dinah’s Alliance Against Violence week.

The week will consist of a range of events that culminate with Friday’s Beyoncé-themed benefit concert at Local 506 for the Orange County Rape Crisis Center. Students who complete the necessary quiz will earn a T-shirt they can wear on Friday to identify themselves as allies.

“T-shirts are something that people wear,” said Frumkin, Project Dinah co-chairwoman. “It’s not like a button or a wristband that maybe you pick up and never touch again, but people wear T-shirts, and we see them around campus every day.”

Anne Zhou, Project Dinah’s other co-chairwoman, said educating people about interpersonal violence and raising awareness is just one of this week’s goals.

“The second part of it is to create an environment — on Friday especially, when everyone is wearing their shirts — where survivors at UNC understand that they are in a community that supports them,” Zhou said. “And it’s a solidarity act to make them feel safer.”

Zhou said Project Dinah seeks to raise awareness for all forms of interpersonal violence through advocacy, education and empowerment. These forms of violence include stalking, rape, sexual harassment and relationship violence.

As the organization grows, Zhou said part of its focus is working to collaborate with different groups.

“We have a really solid audience in the activist base on campus,” Zhou said. “But we want to bring our message out to different organizations.”

UNC’s violence prevention coordinator Kelli Raker said education is incredibly important to prevent violence.

“Education can help create a culture where violence is not tolerated and ultimately help prevent sexual and interpersonal violence in our community,” she said in an email.

Frumkin said they wanted work with the Greek system and athletic community as well. She emphasized the importance of not telling these groups what to do and allowing them to support Project Dinah’s message from within their own organizations. She also noted the work the Greek system has done this year in addressing interpersonal violence.

“(We want them to) create that environment where they’re holding each other accountable rather than feeling like our activist community is holding them accountable,” she said.

Frumkin said gender roles and power dynamics can play into these situations of interpersonal violence.

“I think in the college community and the dating bracket we’re in, a lot of this is normalized — ‘that’s just a guy being a guy’ or not a big deal.”

university@dailytarheel.com



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