Students and faculty walk to end domestic violence

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Visual arts adjunct Jessica DeCuir holds a portrait of her mother-in-law Barbara Snyder at the Clothesline Project walk Oct. 10 at this college. Snyder, a former English adjunct at this college, lost her life to domestic violence Aug. 14, 2018. DeCuir said to check in on loved ones often and ask questions if you suspect abuse. V. Finster

Barbara Snyder, former English adjunct at this college, lost her life to what has been described as domestic violence.

By V. Finster

vfinster1@student.alamo.edu

More than 27 faculty, staff and students at this college participated in the Clothesline Project walk Oct. 10 beginning at the empowerment center and ending east of Loftin Student Center.

The Non-Traditional Student Club along with the empowerment center have observed the Clothesline Project in October during Domestic Violence Awareness Month at this college for nine years.

It began shortly after the club was founded.

According to www.clotheslineproject.info, the project originated in Hyannis, Mass., in 1990 after the Cape Cod’s Women’s Defense Agenda learned that during the Vietnam War 58,000 U.S. soldiers were killed while 51,000 U.S. women lost their lives at the hand of male companions.

Adviser Maria Jimenez said the group surveyed women who experienced domestic violence between 1959-1975, asking if they discussed the abuse.

They found that the topic was usually not discussed socially, but next-door neighbors often talked about the abuse while hanging their clothes to dry.

The group wanted to find a way to personalize the statistics with visuals so survivors designed T-shirts to express their feelings.

“That’s how the project started,” Jimenez said.

Jocelyn Sanchez, medical assistant freshman and president of the Nontraditional Students Club, and Maria Jimenez, adviser for the Nontraditional Students Club, lead about 30 students, faculty and staff during the Clothesline Project Walk from the empowerment center to Loftin to raise awareness for domestic violence prevention Oct. 10. The group chanted, “No more violence, no more silence. Together we can end domestic violence.” Jimenez gave a speech about domestic violence once the walk concluded. Dillon Holloway

Jimenez, who grew up during the Vietnam War, said her brother fought two tours in Vietnam.

“I remember the clotheslines,” she said. 

Jimenez said today there are more resources and opportunities. 

“On campus we have a day care, scholarships, a diaper bank and counselors,” she said.

Jimenez said people often think it’s none of their business, but they can make an anonymous call to the authorities if abuse is suspected.

 “Report it,” she said. “Don’t let it go on; because you might be saving someone’s life.”

Jimenez said this is the first year at this college participants carried colored T-shirts, each color representing a different form of abuse.

Yellow and beige represent battered or assaulted women; red, pink and orange are for survivors of rape and sexual assault; blue and green are for survivors of incest and sexual abuse; purple and lavender for women attacked for their sexual orientation; and black represents women attacked for political reasons.

Medical assistant freshman Jocelyn Sanchez spoke into a megaphone at the beginning of the walk.

“No more silence, no more violence, SAC students can end domestic violence,” she said.

The group repeated the phrase back and forth with Sanchez until they reached Loftin.

Some of the signs read: “#breakthesilence”; “Bexar County is the fourth deadliest county in Texas for women victimized by a domestic partner” and “An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.”

The group stopped east of Loftin to listen to social work coordinator Lisa Black and visual arts adjunct Jessica DeCuir speak.

DeCuir held a portrait of her mother-in-law with the words, “Barbara Snyder murdered 8-14-18.”

She spoke to the group saying Snyder recently was killed in what DeCuir described as domestic violence. Decuir said she had not told some of her closest friends what happened, but it was time to speak up.

“I don’t want how she died to define her,” she said. “She was a mother, a teacher and a friend, my best friend.”

Snyder was an English adjunct five years at this college before she retired in the early 2000s. Snyder taught English for 18 years at Marshall High School.

Snyder’s husband, Richard Mark Robeau, was charged with murder in the case. He was released from the Bexar County Detention Center Aug. 15 on $150,000 bond, according to public records.

DeCuir said Robeau is awaiting trial.

DeCuir said she was hesitant to carry her picture and speak about Snyder’s death but then considered the potential impact of sharing her family’s story.

“If just one person hears this and makes a change today, maybe tomorrow that one becomes 10, then 10 becomes 20, then 50, 100 and so on,” she said.  

The number to the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Some signs of an abusive relationship are communication that is hurtful, demeaning, threatening or insulting; mistreating the other’s feelings, decisions, physical safety, thoughts or opinions; accusing the other of an affair or cheating that has never occurred; denial of abusive actions as abuse; controls the other; isolates the other from friends and family; forces pregnancy or sexual activity; uses manipulative parenting tactics including lying to children about the other parent; and exerts economic control.

Visit www.thehotline.org/healthy-relationships/relationship-spectrum/  to view the entire “Relationship Spectrum.”

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