Prior to the lesson, Segal sent a letter out to parents explaining the project and asking for donations of journals. The students would then be decorating the front and back of the journals using a mixed-media, collaging method.
On Friday, Nov.1, Pascone gave a 20-minute presentation about Unity House and the warning signs of domestic violence to students before they began their art lesson with Segal. The class, filled with about 20 teenage girls, who learned how victims of domestic violence are often controlled by their partners and how often the cycles repeat.
“Many times, when woman come to us, they do go back to their abusers. It can take three or more times before they actually leave, and some never do,” said Pascone, explaining that some victims can find living on their own and facing the new challenges of everyday life to be overwhelming. “Some have never kept a checkbook before or may be confused about applying for a credit card so they feel it’s easier to go back.”
Pascone said the organization typically helps women between the ages of 25 and 45. To spread the word about their organization in a way that isn’t embarrassing for victims, the group will leave pamphlets small enough to hide in a shoe in places like the grocery store and nail salons. They also give out everyday items, like chip clips, with their phone number on it for easy access.
The students will work on their journals in class over the next month. Segal taught the class a special splatter technique for painting the covers. They will then be asked to find inspirational sayings and photos that will be placed on the journals in a collage style.
“It’s meaningful for these woman to get these journals from these girls,” said Pascone. “They were young once too and had similar dreams and aspirations. I think this project will work to form a unique connection between everyone involved.”