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UNT ZETAS Bring Real Stories of Domestic Violence with ‘Black and Blu’ Event

The Delta Rho Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. presented “Black and Blu,” an event to raise awareness on domestic violence October 30 in Wooten Hall. 

 

They presented statistical data on the topic while asking not so common questions on what constitutes domestic violence. 

 

Imani Henderson is the president of the organization and wanted to make sure they hosted the event, because they feel domestic violence is a topic that’s overlooked. 

 

“Especially with the culture of victim blaming, abuse is very prevalent on college campuses, and it doesn’t get talked about enough. We wanted to host an event that would leave an impact,” said Henderson.

By having a “What would you do?” activity, asking attendees to stand but then sit when they decided to leave a narrated situation scenario, they broke down stereotypes of abuse.

 

Attendees also wrote out heart felt messages on papers for survivors.

 

The most compelling aspect of the event was Zeta presenting two guest speakers with personal stories to share.

 

One of them being inspirational speaker and author, Setra Stevenson. (https://www.setrastevenson.com/bio)

 

A member of Zeta Phi Beta herself, she presented the cover of a Dallas magazine where she graced the cover to begin telling her story. “Never would I have thought I would be on the cover of a magazine for being stabbed 21 times by my ex husband,” said Stevenson. 

 

She recounts the day back in 2012, where he told their two boys to stand in the middle of a room to watch him kill their mother two days after their divorce was finalized. 

 

Even with the stab wounds, her ex-husband started choking her. 

 

“He choked me until I passed out, but I remember hearing a clear voice from God tell me, ‘Not today. Your kids will not watch you die. Not like this,’ and I got back up,” said Stevenson. 

 

What she didn’t know was that her oldest son, who was 13 years old at the time, had tried to intervene from his father choking Stevenson. He ended up getting slashed across his own cheek.

 

Stevenson and her children were able to get out of the house and run to a neighbors.

 

In the midst of escape, Stevenson’s ex-husband hopped in his car to flee the scene, but not before telling her, “I’m coming back to kill you.”

 

Six years later, she wrote, “You’re Worth It,” and created a movement to raise awareness for domestic violence as well as building self-worth for others. 

 

“I’m on a mission for us to define our own worth,” said Stevenson.

The posters previously made by attendees were judged on the inspiring messages. The winning team won free, “I AM WORTH IT!” t-shirts from Stevenson.    

 

Kimesha Coleman is the author of “Pretty On, Pretty Off,” and is a self-esteem enhancement coach found at www.coachingbykimesha.com.

 

She started off mentoring in shelters, and is honored that college groups and other organizations like UNT ZETA are wanting to raise awareness to stop the cycle. 

She recounts the first time a family member sexually abused her. 

 

She told her mother, who did nothing, which she said broke her heart twice. 

 

“That’s two times now, where I’m attacked. Physically from one family member, but now my trust is broken from another,” said Coleman.

 

She says that was the starting point of feeling like she wasn’t in control of herself.

 

Her stories of being with her abusive ex kept the room silent as she went into detail. 

 

From the twisting of her wrist to being dosed with flammable liquid and matches thrown at her, she chronicles the time line of escalation. 

 

She warns the attendees about the signs and how to seek help. 

 

Coleman highlights her narratives in her latest book to shred light on the journey within oneself to overcome. 

 

“Writing this book has giving me the platform to help me heal my own wounds, but also helps me share with others,” said Coleman. 

If students are in need of help they can reach out to a Dean of Students Survivor Advocate at (940) 565-2648 or UNT Police at (940) 565-3000, or visit https://deanofstudents.unt.edu/sexual-misconduct/reporting-sexual-miscon…

 

Denton County Friends of the Family provides free counseling sessions to those who are survivors of sexual and domestic violence . To be screened for services, call (940) 387-5131 or visit https://www.dcfof.org. 

 

Their crisis hotline is (940) 382-7273.

Senior at The University of North Texas. I made Black UNT my news beat, and haven't been able to sleep since. Love covering all things melanated Mean Green.
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