Enactus collaborates with domestic violence organization

Enactus collaborates with domestic violence organization

Approximately 20 people in the United States are physically abused by an intimate partner per minute, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Marella McMurray, the domestic violence services program manager at Courage Connection, said it is a non-profit corporation which provides housing and supportive services for individuals and families dealing with homelessness and victims of domestic violence.

Courage Connection is a non-profit corporation funded by state, federal and private grants, as well as 100 percent of revenue from their store in Lincoln Square.

Courage Connection is also collaborating with Illinois Enactus, a registered student organization within the College of Business. Illinois Enactus will hold an event on the Quad on April 8 to help Courage Connection.

“Our mission is to provide the continuum of services so that individuals and families can achieve safety, stability, and self-sufficiency,” McMurray said.

Courage Connection was actually created in 2010 as a combination of the women’s shelters Woman’s Place and the Center for Women in Transition, but was given its current name in 2014, said McMurray.

Maxwell Fisher, the project manager for Illinois Enactus and a sophomore in ACES said Enactus is currently working on 9 different projects, with the $1,500 grant given by the Coca-Cola Foundation. Its work with Courage Connection, called Uncap Opportunities for Women, is one of the projects.

“Since domestic violence has become a very public issue garnering a lot of national attention, we saw an opportunity to help those who are trying to fix this problem.”

McMurray said even she did not realize how serious domestic violence was until after she started working at Courage Connection.

“Because it’s not a fun topic to talk about, often time it’s an embarrassing topic to talk about, often time it’s a topic that people just want to stay in the family type thing you know,” McMurray said.

She said people of all races, classes and statuses are at risk of becoming domestic violence victims.

As of 2010, there were 1,746 shelters for battered women, according to the National Census of Domestic Violence Services.

In 2014, Courage Connection served 709 individual clients, 217 of which received domestic violence counseling, according to the non-profit’s annual report.

Fisher said domestic violence is important for college students to understand because women between the ages of 18 to 24 years old are at the highest risk for domestic violence,

“That age group encompasses the majority of college women here at the University of Illinois, so they all should have a vested interest in ending domestic violence,” Fisher said.

Education on a healthy relationship is key to protect people against domestic violence, McMurray said,

“Stepping away from what the society says, stepping away from what the media says, and stepping away from what may have learned growing up, but what do you as an individual really want for yourself in a relationship and what is a healthy relationship for you,” McMurray said.

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