Thursdays In Black

Contact:            Bridget F. Clark,
Written by:        Kaitlyn Decker

St. Thomas Aquinas College Students Get a Lesson on Abuse
Events Throughout April Help Raises Awareness on Sexual Assault

(SPARKILL, NY, April 8, 2010) – In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, St. Thomas Aquinas College will spend “Thursdays In Black” and host several events to raise awareness about abuse, announced Anne Moore, Director of Student Activities. The College will also display the Silent Witness Exhibit, provided by Rockland Family Shelter.

Students, faculty and staff at the college are encouraged to wear black every Thursday this month to raise awareness surrounding sexual assault, abuse, and domestic violence.  Each Thursday the witnesses will be displayed in the College’s Romano Student-Alumni Center along with student-run informational booths. Visitors can learn more about topics including sexual assault, relationship violence, to LGBT violence. The Silent Witness Exhibit demonstrates the need for awareness.

“We have learned through the years that stopping violence against women is not something women can do alone.  We need an entire community to join with us in sending a message that domestic, dating and sexual abuse will not be tolerated,” commented Carolyn Fish, Executive Director of Rockland Family Shelter.  “By raising the level of awareness of your students, you are helping to create an environment on your campus that may hopefully contribute to sending that message.”

The Silent Witness Exhibit was created in 1990 in an effort to bring attention to the alarming number of women who were being murdered by their partners or ex partners. The group wanted to do something that would raise public awareness about the reality of domestic violence and commemorate the lives of the women who had been killed by their intimate other. The exhibit contains free standing, life-sized red, wooden figures, each one bearing the name of a woman who once lived, worked, had neighbors, friends, family, or children – whose life ended violently at the hands of a husband, ex husband, partner or acquaintance. The organizers called the figures “The Silent Witnesses”.

In addition to Thursdays in Black the College will host several events throughout the month including self defense class on Monday, April 26 and a candle ceremony on Thursday, April 29. A panel will be held Thursday, April 22 featuring criminal justice professionals and their roles in sexual assault and domestic violence cases. Panelists include James Nawoichyk, Director of Campus Safety and Security and representatives from Rockland Family Shelter.

To learn more about the Thursdays in Black program, contact the Office of Student Activities at 845-398-4084 or

To learn more about the Silent Witness Exhibit visit

St. Thomas Aquinas College is an independent liberal arts college located in Sparkill, NY which provides education at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  The College’s 2,700 full and part time students can choose from almost 100 different majors, minors, specializations, and dual degree programs across five divisions: Humanities; Business Administration; Social Sciences; Natural Sciences & Mathematics; and Teacher Education programs. For more information visit




St. Thomas Aquinas College
125 Route 340
Sparkill, NY 10976



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