University of Hawaiʻi students, faculty, administrators, regents and coaches helped to raise awareness alongside hundreds of fellow community members in the 22nd annual Men’s March Against Violence in October.
“This is a great opportunity for all us to get together with others in the public sector, in the private sector, in the social services to really make a stand and show that we care,” said UH President David Lassner.
Each year in Hawaiʻi 50,000 women between the ages of 18 and 64 are victims of domestic violence.
Jerris Hedges, dean of the John A. Burns School of Medicine said, “It’s very important for UH to be involved, but the medical school in particular because we’ll deal with the victims of domestic violence and provide opportunities for people to turn their lives around.”
“It’s not cool that any woman or a man is getting beaten by their significant other or by somebody else in their family,” said UH Mānoa basketball player Michael Thomas. “It’s something that’s a very emotional topic, but it’s real. It happens, and the more support and the more awareness that people have for it, the less it happens.”
Retired Kapiʻolani Community College executive Salvatore Lanzilotti helped to co-found the march against violence 22 years ago.
“The real question is, ‘How do we create a safe environment for our women and our children?’” said Lanzilotti. “It’s everyone’s responsibility.”
Numerous UH athletes and coaches have also participated in recent marches.
“The University of Hawaiʻi is such a big part of this state,” observed Head Football Coach Nick Rolovich. “When the university can jump in and UH athletics can jump in, I think it really shows how the island community is tied together.”