Empty Place at the Table Installation to Draw Attention to Domestic Violence

October 5, 2020 | Events, News, UToday, Student Affairs
By Staff

Tables in UToledo dining facilities around campus in the month of October will tell the sobering stories of those who lost their lives to domestic violence.

• Jazmon Hoskins, 21 and a student of UToledo, was found strangled to death by her boyfriend. She died in May 2012 and was survived by her 19-month-old daughter.

• Gabriella Rojas, 26, was found shot to death in her home in December 2016. Her long-time boyfriend and father of her children was charged.

The Empty Place at the Table installation will be on display in dining facilities during October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. UToledo community members can view the tables and read the stories in the Thompson Student Union, Ottawa House East and Carlson Library on Main Campus, and at the Four Seasons Bistro at The University of Toledo Medical Center on Health Science Campus.

Empty Table Installation in Student Union featuring place settings and empty chairs

The Empty Place at the Table installation can be seen in UToledo dining facilities in October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

“During a pandemic awareness and remembering individuals lost to domestic violence in northwest Ohio is still incredibly important,” Vicky Kulicke, director of Title IX and compliance, said. “As we social distance we can still participate in keeping the conversations going by safely viewing the installation in a quiet and respectful manner. We know that during this time it is a powerful tool. The empty place at the table continues to demonstrate there will always be a loss with the families and community of the victims.”

The stories of those lives lost due to domestic violence are on loan from the Silent Witness Project at the Bethany House, a long-term shelter in northwest Ohio for victims and their children who are escaping domestic violence. The project also is made possible through the generosity and assistance from Rocket Dining.

“The way this instillation is presented allows each individuals the time and space to process the tragedies of the stories we share,” said Walaa Kanan, a graduate assistant in the Title IX Office, who created the installation. “Without even having any event or conversation, we are able to spread a message and open people’s eyes to the seriousness and prevalence of this issue. Having the empty tables out for an entire month allows for many on campus to see them multiple times, which really symbolizes our goal to never forget those who lost their to domestic violence. I find this message to be really powerful.”

The installation was first developed in 1993 following several domestic violence murders in Lackawanna County, Pa. It serves as a reminder of the devastating results of domestic violence and helps ensure victims are remembered.

For more information on the installation, contact the Title IX Office at 419.530.4191 or visit the Title IX website.

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