Northwestern alumna to share own story of domestic violence

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Northwestern alumna to share own story of domestic violence

October 7, 2008

Northwestern Oklahoma State University alumna Kayte Anton will share a personal family story as part of the university’s observance of October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

“Picture Domestic Violence” is a multimedia presentation illustrating Anton’s own family struggle to escape a life of abuse. The talk will take place in Northwestern’s Enid campus commons area and travel via ITV to the Alva campus in room 131 of the Industrial Education Building, and in Woodward 147 on Tuesday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Anton said that this multimedia presentation will immerse participants into the story through the use of a collection of poignant family photos where participants will discover how her family experienced the abusive tactics of power and control, not only from the abuser, but from community institutions as well.

From hospitals and law enforcement to churches, schools and child advocates, the workshop will show how abuse doesn’t always end with the abuser.

Beneficial for all community members, Anton said this interactive program will examine community responsibilities, and compel attendees to work toward a coordinated community response to domestic violence.

Anton is a 2005 graduate of Northwestern with a degree in mass communications and history. She currently is the community education and prevention specialist with the YWCA of Enid.

Anton said she began volunteering at the YWCA when she and her husband Luke moved to Enid in 2006.

“I believe in the organization’s mission and the services it provides to northwest Oklahoma,” Anton said. “Personally, it tugged at my heart because of my family’s history, and how I wish my mom had an organization like the YWCA that she could have turned to.

“I don’t think a lot of people realize how fortunate our community is and how far we’ve come,” Anton said. “Back when my mom was with my abusive father, police officers didn’t have the extensive training they have these days, shelters were just beginning to form, and victim advocates were nearly unheard of.”

Anton believes that the solution to domestic violence is not more shelters, although the YWCA does offer shelter as one of its many services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

“Community education and prevention is the key to stopping family violence, and that is truly the heart of this presentation,” Anton said. “First, we look at how far we’ve come, through the eyes of my mother, and then the second half of the presentation focuses on a community’s responsibility to prevent violence, protect victims and the importance of holding offenders accountable.

“My family’s story is not about shocking people or asking for a pat on the back for everything we went through, it’s deeper than that. We’re very matter-of-fact people, very blunt. Our hope, as a family, is that our story will become an educational tool. This is what happened, learn from it, and another family won’t have to be traumatized.”

Anton said she actually has fun giving this presentation, and looks forward to answering questions from the audience and getting their feedback on the topic.

“This shouldn’t be a taboo subject; we should be talking about this regularly in the community,” Anton said.

The presentation is sponsored by Northwestern, in partnership with the YWCA Crisis Center of Enid. The Crisis Center serves Garfield, Grant, Kingfisher and Blaine counties.

The Enid Crisis Center was the first battered women’s shelter in the state when it opened in 1979. The Enid YWCA itself was established in 1920.

Besides shelter, the organization provides a 24-hour crisis line, counseling, parenting classes, supervised visitations and safe exchanges, court and hospital advocates, and My Sister’s Closet, which provides clothing and household items to families in need. Along with the Crisis Center, Enid YWCA’s other programs include Reflection’s Halfway House, youth events, and the Children’s Learning Center, which is a full-time public daycare.

For additional information on the Crisis Center, please contact Anton at (580) 234-7581. On the Northwestern campus, people may contact Sandra Harmon, Violence Prevention Project Coordinator, at (580) 327-8119 or  Other helpful numbers include the Northwest Domestic Crisis Services in Alva at (580) 327-6648 or in Woodward at 1-888-256-1215. A 24-hour crisis hotline is (580) 256-8712.