WIN Foundation Focuses on Domestic Violence Awareness
The USF student organization helps raise awareness of domestic violence and holds fundraisers for a local women’s shelter.
Video credit: Dani Barta | USF News
TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 3, 2012) – One student organization at the University of South Florida is working to raise awareness of domestic violence and help women realize when they are in an abusive relationship.
The Woman In Need (WIN) Foundation at USF has grown from 20 members to more than 200 since its inception in 2009. It was developed to assist The Spring, a local domestic violence shelter, in fundraising and toiletry drives.
The student organization also brings in guest speakers to talk about domestic violence awareness and martial arts instructors to teach various forms of self-defense.
“By being an awareness organization, we can help women in a college campus be aware of their surroundings and be aware when they’re getting into a relationship and see the signs of abuse before things get out of hand,” said WIN president Bailee Williams.
“[We are] also demonstrating charity to our classmates and showing that its important you continue to help the community, even beyond your college years as well and possibly making a career out of it, which is what many of our officers want to do.”
Ashlee Nuehauser, an accounting student at USF, is the treasurer of WIN and one of many students, Williams said, who have changed their career paths after getting involved.
“When I first came to college, I really had my heart set on being an accountant and working with the WIN Foundation has really opened my eyes to more social issues as opposed to just the world of accounting and business,” Nuehauser said.
Nuehauser has since applied for a job at The Spring to help victims of domestic violence.
“The statistics are terrible and I think it’s important to start with the youth in order to stop those issues from going on into future generations,” Nuehauser said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1-in-4 women are affected by domestic violence. In 2010, the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found that, on average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States.
These findings, the CDC said, emphasize that sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence are important and widespread public health problems in the United States.
Williams will be starting medical school at USF in the fall and would like to form an outreach program with The Spring where student volunteers could do physical exams physical exams and reach out to violence victims in underprivileged communities.
The WIN Foundation also wants to develop partnerships with other shelters in the Tampa Bay region.
Daylina Miller can be reached at 813-500-8754.