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By Meredith Amor
Director of Communications, Barry University
February 11, 2021, Miami, Florida – Barry University is taking the annual College Brides Walk – which raises awareness for dating and domestic violence – virtual, as concerns about the impact of the pandemic on the incidence of domestic violence skyrocket.
Typically, hundreds of “brides” flood the streets and march 3 miles, many dressed in wedding gowns. This year, participants will join a series of virtual events and do an independent walk, documenting their journey on social media using the hashtag #collegebrideswalk.
With more people staying home due to the pandemic, the issue of domestic and dating violence is more critical than ever.
“Domestic and dating violence most often takes place behind closed doors,” said Dr. Laura Finley, Barry University Professor of Sociology and Criminology and co-founder of the annual event. “We see increased rates of violence when people are at home in situations that are unsafe, and many shelters that would be a refuge for victims are forced by the pandemic to reduce services. It’s a toxic combination.”
College Brides Walk is designed to create a platform for young minds to discuss solutions, have a healthy outlet for self-expression, and continue the conversation about domestic and dating violence.
“Statistics show college students are overrepresented as victims of domestic violence,” Dr. Finley said. “Our virtual platform this year will allow us to reach young people, and people of all ages for that matter, in South Florida and far beyond.”
Students from schools across the region are expected to participate, and the events are open to all.
The walk begins on February 12, 2021 with other events scheduled throughout the month.
For more information visit: https://www.barry.edu/college-brides-walk/
Participants in Barry University’s 2020 Brides Walk gathered at the university’s main campus in Miami Shores and walked 3 miles in support of victims of dating and domestic violence. This year’s event will be virtual. Photo Courtesy of Barry University Department of Communications