Dina Ruiz/ Staff Writer
Del Mar College offers protection for any student who may be a victim of domestic or dating-related violence, according to Randy Walker, security coordinator at DMC.
If there is a Protective Order issued against a family member or significant other in a dating situation, students are advised to bring a copy to the Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management Office located on the East Campus.
Walker, who is also a retired police officer, said that there is a rise in the number of younger victims in domestic violence cases.
“When I first became a policeman the domestic violence mainly encompassed married couples from their early 20s on up. Now young women, even in high school in dating situations, are experiencing the same kind of domestic violence that we would see in married situations,” said Walker.
Even in cases where the student may not feel there is a threat of an incident occurring at DMC, Walker said students should still bring a copy of their Protective Order to his office.
“We ask that students when they go to school here and they have a Protective Order against a family member that they let us know, but for the most part we haven’t had a lot of situations where we have had that kind of problem here at Del Mar with dating violence or domestic violence,” said Walker.
If a student is afraid of a confrontation with the respondent named in their Protective Order while on campus, security will offer escort services to and from classes.
“There are two police officers here from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on the East and West Campuses and of course they will respond to the South Campus,” said Walker.
In the past four years, DMC has had a low number of criminal incidents, something Walker said he takes pride in. “Our goal here is to provide a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff and we have a very good record of doing that and we are proud of it. We want to keep it that way,” said Walker.
According to the Women’s Shelter of South Texas’ 2010 Annual Report, a total of 3,079 clients were assisted, 539 individuals in the age range of 18-29. The shelter provides services to adult and child victims of domestic and sexual violence across a 12-county region that includes Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, McMullen, Nueces, Refugio, and San Patricio counties.
The Women’s Shelter of South Texas offers a variety of services for the victims and their children who are victims of domestic violence in their homes or relationships. All services are free to men and women and include emergency shelter, 24-hour Crisis Hotline and crisis intervention services, counseling, legal advocacy, youth services, case management, rape crisis service, and rural outreach service.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but to further increase awareness of this issue, the Uptown Girl Fashion Boutique will host the Third Annual ‘High Heels for Hope’ Fashion Show on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at the Mansion Royal, 8001 S.P.I.D from 6 to 9 p.m.
For more information, visit uptownfashion.com or call 361/993-1073.
For information on how you can volunteer at the Women’s Shelter of South Texas, contact their office at 361/881-8888.