Since 1981, October has been known as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Ruth’s Cottage, located in Tifton, came to ABAC’s campus to spread awareness of the cause. Ruth’s Cottage is a domestic violence shelter for women that many ABAC students have worked with in the past.

The event was held in Lakeside’s multipurpose room on Oct. 3. Barbara Wilber, the assistant director of Ruth’s Cottage, was there to talk about domestic violence and the work that the shelter does.

Ruth’s Cottage is not only a shelter for domestic violence. There are other departments as well, one being a center for child abuse, The Patticake House. The other is the sexual assault program through the Affinity Clinic.

Ruth’s Cottage takes in crisis calls, which are calls that victims of domestic violence can call in. The shelter also offers advocates for victims.

At the event, they also talked about what the future holds for Ruth’s Cottage and how it plans on growing in the future. Thanks to a community development grant of $750,000, they hope to start building a new shelter in January. The new shelter means instead of being able to house 12 people, the shelter will be able to hold 24. Three apartments inside the shelter will be able to accommodate large families as well as men.

Previously, each department was in a different location, but with the new building, they will all be under one roof. The event allowed students to know that these resources were available for them if they should ever need them.  Ruth’s Cottage also let students know that there are volunteer opportunities available for them through the shelter.

Ruth’s Cottage handed out relationship surveys for those interested in testing their relationship to see if it was healthy. The survey posed yes or no questions such as, “The person I’m with puts me down, calls me names or criticizes me” and “The person I’m with gets extremely jealous or possessive.”

The event ended with an activity put on by Lakeside CAs Janelle Balceiro, Nyshanti Ross, and Bernardo Cruz. The activity was called Positive Graffiti. Students could draw, color and decorate positive messages that were to be hung up around Lakeside for everyone to see.

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