Even in Second Life, there is a need for hope…
In fact, hope is one of many things offered at The Care and Hope Center. Personally organized and ran by Morgan Whitfield Mickalobe, The Care and Hope Center directly addresses domestic violence and abuse via class offerings and discussions.
The Care and Hope Center also acts as an inworld safe haven for not only RL domestic violence survivors who play Second Life, but also for Second Life players who have experienced inworld forms of domestic violence and abuse.
Like RL domestic violence and Abuse, SL domestic violence and abuse can involve: mental, emotional, economic/financial, and–in extreme cases–physical abuse.
To better address this phenomenon, The Care and Hope Center will be offering a free class to all SL community members interested in learning more about the warning signs intrinsic in domestic violence and abuse. The class, entitled “Warning Signs of An Abusive Relationship,” will be taught via voice by Morgan Whitfield Mickalobe, and will be held at the Chilbo Business District Sim on Friday, February 26, 2016 at 7:00 PM SLT.
When asked what prompted her to create the inworld Care and Hope Center, Morgan Whitfield Mickalobe explains:
“Well, I have always been an advocate to promote awareness on domestic violence and violence against women. When I first started college, I befriended a woman who disclosed to me that she was a victim of abuse…severe from her ex-husband. She recalled one incident where she was 6 months into her pregnancy and her husband assaulted her. He punched her face as if she was his sparing partner and even hit her in the stomach…”
Mickalobe continues, “The husband was arrested and taken away…however, she refused to press charges against her ex….her in-laws literally begged and pleaded that she drop all charges.”
Situations such as the one Mickalobe described are the central reason why an inworld safe haven was created for all victims of domestic violence and abuse. As echoed in Mickalobe’s interview however, The Care and Hope Center focuses on women survivors of domestic violence and abuse. This is because women are more likely to be victims than men.
According to Alanna Vagianos’ Huffington Post’s article entitled, 30 Shocking Domestic Violence Statistics That Remind Us It’s An Epidemic, “Women are much more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence with 85 percent of domestic abuse victims being women and 15 percent men. Too many women have been held captive by domestic violence — whether through physical abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse or a combination of all three.”(Vagianos)
With statistics as horrifying as these, it is no wonder why Mickalobe’s work calls for her to directly address female victims of domestic violence and abuse. Because the number of women victims is so high, it is important that a place is created solely for them, by them. This, in turn not only gives them the support they need, but also provides a safe place to share intimate information with other female victims of domestic violence and abuse.
With this in mind, The Care and Hope Center’s safe haven is located at Madhupak, and offers an array of information about domestic violence, as well as acts as a central location where RL and SL Domestic Abuse survivors can meet in a confidential setting. The meetings usually incorporate lecture-based techniques as a way to educate others about domestic violence and abuse, but Mickalobe is planning to incorporate student-centered based techniques in her domestic violence and abuse classes, too.
Student-centered classes often include activities as a way to empower students to take learning into their own hands. These activities can range from open-ended discussion questions that allow students to freely discuss their thoughts on a topic, to methods that rely on visual props like beads or even slips of paper to help students better grasp key concepts intrinsic in a topic.
Morgan Whitfield Mickalobe plans to incorporate student-centered teaching methods in her SL classes not only as a way to reach an array of learners, but to make her courses more accessible to those who misinterpret her inworld Center as a threat to their SL.
She continues, “There are a lot of charitable organizations here in SL. But, I noticed that there is nothing that really deals with Domestic Violence and Victims of Abuse that provides facts and classes. Yes, there are events that benefit good causes, but none that really educate people. In this sense, SL is really an untapped medium to spread the message. That is what I proposed to the folks at the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. They agreed that SL is a great way to spread the message…..thousands of residents log in here each day…”
To learn more about domestic violence and abuse, please pay a visit to The Care and Hope Center…there are an array of resources available to all who are interested.
Maps of the World: Trending Global Issues, Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/281686151663793081/)
Vagianos, Alanna. “30 Shocking Domestic Violence Statistics That Remind Us It’s An Epidemic.” The Huffington Post, February 13, 2015 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/23/domestic-violence-statistics_n_5959776.html).