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New Group Will Fight Domestic Violence

By Valerie M. Rademacher, Contributing Reporter

A newly organized support group for victims of domestic abuse will provide counseling and legal advice on campus, founders said.

Assistant Dean for Co-education Janet A. Viggiani, who began the group along with approximately 15 students, said she hopes it will stem violence in student relationships.

"The group has the potential to address issues that have concerned me and other members of the Ad Board," Viggiani said. "We have been observing an increase in disciplinary cases involving violence in relationships."

Viggiani authored last spring's report by the Date Rape Task Force, which may be approved by the Ad Board this year.

Veronika A. Yank '94 said yesterday that the group intends to set up a "quick outreach" program to help actual or potential victims of such violence.

"We hope our efforts will have a meaning for people in all different kinds of relationships to help them clarify for themselves how they want to be treated by their partners," Yank said.

A phone line to be established in February will feature a recording that informs callers of counseling, medical and legal resources available--both on and off campus--for victims of abuse, Yank said.

Yank said the group, which yesterday met for the second time, will seek funding from the Radcliffe Union of Students.

The group will conduct a campus wide survey to establish the extent of problems of domestic violence, Yank said. The group also hopes to bring attorney Sarah Buell, a Harvard Law School alumnus and an expert in domestic violence issues, to speak.

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