digital collegian
Thursday, Feb. 27, 1997 

Program shows impact of abuse

Collegian Staff Writer

Imagine for a moment -- a wife, a mother or a sister being stabbed repeatedly in the neck. Her head being kicked and stomped on by her male batterer. Her blood seeping onto the concrete. Her fragile body lying on the sidewalk broken, beaten, abused. Her children witness the heinous crime. 

Nancy Barton Hulse

Nancy Hulse performs "That Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady," in Kern Building last night. The show, sponsored by the Center for Women Students and University Health Services, was a collage of dance, poetry and music that depicted the effects of violence against women. (Collegian Photo/Timothy Gyves - click for full size image) 

Last night, a melting pot of about 100 students had this image driven into their memories at the Kern Graduate Center, where they watched Nancy Hulse perform a series of vignettes titled "That ain't no way to treat a lady."

Students were presented with statistics that caused their mouths to drop in astonishment. One in every two women are battered during their lifetime. Every nine days, a woman is killed by her abuser. Eighty-five percent of battered women who are murdered are killed after exiting a relationship. Five out of six women are turned away from shelters. Every seven seconds, a woman is a victim of domestic violence.

"My belief is that all women are abused at some level -- economically, physically, emotionally," Hulse said.

The program, co-sponsored by the Center for Women Students and University Health Services and produced by Womynkind, Hulse's organization, combined a variety of art -- poetry, music and choreography -- to heighten awareness about violence against women. Hulse's vignettes featured poetry by authors like Virginia Woolf, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Audre Lorde. Songs were highlighted by musicians like Tracy Chapman, Melissa Etheridge, Mariah Carey and Jimi Hendrix. 

"Her depiction was really accurate of the way things occur in domestic violence," said Stephanie Sivak (senior-nutrition). "Her energy, intensity and the way she used various visual aids worked well in getting her point across."

In "That ain't no way to treat a lady," Hulse portrayed the life of a battered woman -- expressing her innermost emotions and demonstrating her struggle for self-identity and independence from the ties that bind her -- her abusive relationship.

Hulse emphasized the sacrifices women make in abusive relationships. They lose all sense of friends, family, career, self and soul. 

The only solution is for women to shut off completely, Hulse said. If women were to stop doing everything, the United States would be paralyzed and men would be affected as well.

"Men would realize how important women are and that they are not to be used as battery bags and put down," Hulse said. 

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