Oct. 29, 2015 – In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Massasoit Women’s Resource Center hosted “The Yellow Dress” during the student activity hour on Monday, October 26.  More than 150 students, staff, and faculty attended the event.

The Yellow Dress is a powerful one-woman play that stimulates a thought-provoking discussion about relationships. The story begins as young love, full of passion and promise, ends in tragedy.  The program consists of a 30-minute performance and a 30-minute interactive discussion lead by the actors from Deana’s Educational Theater. According to the Theater, “The play helps viewers recognize the different types of dating violence, how to identify the early warning signs, and when, where and how to seek help if they or a friend are involved in an abusive relationship.” Deana’s Educational Theater was founded by the family of Deana Brisbois, a victim of dating violence. This play, written by Deborah Lake Fortson and originally produced by Sydney Patten, was launched in 1995 and has been recognized as a “breakthrough dating violence prevention original play.” 

Following the short play, the actress came back to stage and led the audience through a powerful interactive discussion about the play, perceptions, dating violence, how to help, what to look for, and more. Students were especially participatory in responding to questions and offering answers and suggestions.

“The issue of domestic violence has gained more and more attention in recent years,” said Yolanda Dennis, executive director of diversity and inclusion. “This is an important social issue, and it is part of our mission to educate our students on both prevention and how to recognize abuse. Domestic violence happens to people of all ages, backgrounds, and socio-economic status. It is important for us as a community college to contribute to increasing public awareness.” 

Prior to the performance, area organizations provided a resource fair for students, staff, and attendees, with representatives from SouthBay Mental Health, South Shore Women’s Center, the Mass Office of Victim Assistance, and the Attorney General’s Office. 

As a final event for the month, the Women’s Resource Center held a Lunch & Learn on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 where they showed the film “Telling Amy’s Story,” which chronicles the events leading up to a dramatic domestic violence event in central Pennsylvania in 2001.