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UCF will be hosting its 8th annual Light Up the Night on Monday at 6 p.m. in the Pegasus Ballroom to commemorate the lives of domestic violence victims.

According to a release, the event, which correlates with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, is meant to encourage students to discuss domestic violence and its impact on the community.

“Relationship abuse affects everyone,” said Sarah Laake, assistant director of UCF Victim Services, which sponsors the event each year. “It could be a professor, someone in your study group, a relative, the person next to you in the library. We encourage anyone and everyone to join us at Light Up the Night to learn how abuse impacts our community and honor Knights who have lost their lives to intimate partner violence," she said in the release.

During the event, attendees will watch a show titled, "An Empty Place at the Table." The show is set to honor at least seven people with UCF ties who have died from domestic violence from an intimate partner.

Students will also get the opportunity to hear from two domestic violence survivors and the founder of Florida Abolitionist, Tomas Lares. Lares, who started the organization with the mission to end domestic abuse across the nation, will speak on domestic violence's connection to human trafficking.

Orlando Police Officer William Powell will talk to attendees about stalking through technology and how the police handle domestic violence calls. Along with Powell's and Lares' discussions, 13 campus and community organizations will be tabling at the event to answer questions and provide resources about domestic abuse.

Other domestic violence-awareness events happening at UCF this month include:

  • The Clothesline Project, which is a national effort given to domestic abuse survivors an opportunity to get their voices heard on the topic by decorating T-shirts. Tables with T-shirts and decorating supplies will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday at the Student Union for students, and the shirts will be hung inside the union throughout October.
  • The Paint it Purple event takes place on October 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m outside of the Student Union. A "Purple Party" booth will be set up to hand out freebies to raise awareness about intimate-partner abuse, according to the release.
  • My Costume is Not My Consent will begin on October 28, outside of the Student Union, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The pre-Halloween event will highlight the discussion about revealing costumes not equating to sexual consent.

For more information about the events taking place during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, contact Victim Services on its 24/7 hotline at 407-823-1200, or visit the website at victimservices.ucf.edu.

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Shanae Hardy is a Digital Producer at the Central Florida Future. Email her at ShanaeH@CentralFloridaFuture.com

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