February 2014 Editorial

In October, Palm Beach State College held an event to bring awareness to domestic violence.  In February, it held a vigil for one of their own.
Dacota Stewart-Dick was a professor, and was in charge of the First Year Experience at our school.  She lost her life on February 2, 2014; a victim of domestic violence.  According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
The time to end domestic violence is now.  The way we end it is twofold.  First, we must educate people about this crisis.  As students, we must make it a priority.  Talk to your friends, your family, and your legislators.  Get petitions together and get prevention education in schools.  Make it mandatory for students to know that violence is never the answer.  If you are a victim, or a perpetrator, get help now.
The second is to get your legislators to do more to protect victims.  There need to be stronger penalties for abusers, stronger anti-stalking, and bullying laws.  As students, you have powerful tools.  Call, email, and tweet your legislators, they do listen.  If enough people ask for the same thing, change will happen.  Most importantly, vote; it is the only way legislators listen.
Professor Stewart-Dick touched a lot of lives during her time on earth.  She spent her time serving others.  Do not let her down; make a positive change to end domestic violence.  You may save a life in the process.