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River Run Promotes Safety Awareness

By Abby Y. Fung

Students kicked off "Take Back the Night" week by taking back the river Saturday afternoon with a five-kilometer run.

About 130 students and community members called attention to river safety issues by participating in the run.

"This was a way to show our frustration, especially about violence against women," said Megan L. Peimer '97, an event organizer and former co-chair of the Radcliffe Union of Students (RUS), the main underwriter of the week's events.

The run inaugurated a week to promote awareness of violence against women "in American society as a whole and on the Harvard campus," said Adina H. Rosenbaum '98, co-chair of "Take Back the Night" week.

Art exhibits, community service events and workshops will take place throughout the week, and a rally and vigil for sharing personal experiences will conclusion the week Thursday evening.

Rachel B. Chernikoff '97, co-captain of this year's women's soccer team, said the river run was an affirmation of inner and group strength for many female athletes.

"Safety is a concern down by the river and not something to be taken for granted," she said. "I think the run's a great thing to have. People leave it feeling really empowered. When our team finished the crossing line, we were singing about taking back the river, and there was a glow on people's faces and a bounce in their step."

The women's basketball and soccer teams have participated in the river run since its inception last year.

The majority of participants were Harvard students and part of the 18-25 age division. Scott F. Kocher '97 finished with the best male time in his age group, with a run of 17 minutes. Rachel L. Barenbaum '98 clinched the best female time with 19 minutes and 23 seconds.

Although the run was not billed as a race, organizers gave prizes--including gift certificates and movie tickets--for the best time.

Kocher, an avid runner, said he participated in the river run last year as well.

"I'm training for the [Boston] Marathon and it looked like it would be a very good warm-up," Kocher said. "I [also] think they raise awareness for very important issues...that don't get talked about enough, especially at a place like Harvard."

Rosenbaum said that problems of violence against women are more prevalent on campus than students would imagine.

"People get attacked on the street, but date rape happens enough that it's also a problem. Women need to be made aware that it does happen and men need to be aware that it's wrong," she said.

Organizers will offer one workshop specifically for men, focusing on male responses to issues of date rape and domestic violence.

Only one male participated in last night's panel discussion on the effects of violence on the health of women and families in the Boylston Auditorium.

Dr. Nicolas P. Carballeira, director of the Latino Health Institute, said there are wide discrepancies between the medical treatment giv- en to males and females.

"Women are often underdiagnosed and overmedicated," he said. "Women do not get the kind of medical attention that males get."

Carballeira then related an episode where females complaining of chest pains were derided as hysterical while men with the same complaint were examined closely for a heart condition.

Two other panelists spoke about the vicious cycle of violence which haunts the families of abused women.

Anna-Purna K. Duleep '98, a member of Harvard's Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy Group and former co-director of Response, talked about the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder on her fiance.

After years of abusing his wife and kids, the father of Duleep's fiance murdered his mother one morning. Duleep said that her fiance's experiences pent-up energy and anger as a result.

Amy S. Bamforth, who works in the Child Witness to Violence Program at Boston Medical Center, provided statistics on the effects of domestic violence upon children.

More than 43,000 children in Massachusetts grow up with violence in their homes. By the age of two years and six months, 10 percent of all children have witnessed violence in their homes, according to Bamforth.

In addition, 40 percent of all children have also seen a dead body outside the context of a funeral home, according to a Louisiana study cited by Bamforth.

The last member of the panel was Dr. Rosalind J. Wright, a pulmonary physician at Beth Israel Deacons Medical Center and a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society's Committee on Violence.

A list of "Take Back the Night Week" events can be viewed at http://www.radcliffe.edu/undergrad/takeback.

According to Rosenbaum, over 20 campus organizations are working in conjunction with RUS to put on the week's activities. These include the Undergraduate Council, the Institute of Politics, Philips Brooks House Association, University Health Services and various ethnic and counseling organizations.CrimsonHenry G. WeiAuthor CHIRSTOPHER BRAM reads from his new book, Gossip, at Dudley House yesterday.

"Women are often underdiagnosed and overmedicated," he said. "Women do not get the kind of medical attention that males get."

Carballeira then related an episode where females complaining of chest pains were derided as hysterical while men with the same complaint were examined closely for a heart condition.

Two other panelists spoke about the vicious cycle of violence which haunts the families of abused women.

Anna-Purna K. Duleep '98, a member of Harvard's Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy Group and former co-director of Response, talked about the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder on her fiance.

After years of abusing his wife and kids, the father of Duleep's fiance murdered his mother one morning. Duleep said that her fiance's experiences pent-up energy and anger as a result.

Amy S. Bamforth, who works in the Child Witness to Violence Program at Boston Medical Center, provided statistics on the effects of domestic violence upon children.

More than 43,000 children in Massachusetts grow up with violence in their homes. By the age of two years and six months, 10 percent of all children have witnessed violence in their homes, according to Bamforth.

In addition, 40 percent of all children have also seen a dead body outside the context of a funeral home, according to a Louisiana study cited by Bamforth.

The last member of the panel was Dr. Rosalind J. Wright, a pulmonary physician at Beth Israel Deacons Medical Center and a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society's Committee on Violence.

A list of "Take Back the Night Week" events can be viewed at http://www.radcliffe.edu/undergrad/takeback.

According to Rosenbaum, over 20 campus organizations are working in conjunction with RUS to put on the week's activities. These include the Undergraduate Council, the Institute of Politics, Philips Brooks House Association, University Health Services and various ethnic and counseling organizations.CrimsonHenry G. WeiAuthor CHIRSTOPHER BRAM reads from his new book, Gossip, at Dudley House yesterday.

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