Campus display explores domestic violence-related homicides

Life-sized silhouettes of 27 victims of homicide related to domestic violence will be on display as part of an awareness event in the atrium of Cushwa Hall on the campus of Youngstown State University.

The event, sponsored by the YSU Bitonte College of Health and Human Services, the YSU Melnick Medical Museum and the YSU Office of Student Activities, is Oct. 22 through Oct. 29.

“The goal is to bring awareness to domestic violence and its serious, and potentially fatal, consequences,” said Monica Merrill said, assistant professor of Criminal Justice at YSU.

“One way we can try to limit domestic violence is by educating people about it and bring it to the forefront of conversation. These silhouettes, and the stories behind them, are designed to get students to talk about domestic violence and to understand how deep of a problem it is.”

Merrill said she and members from the Ohio Domestic Violence Network collected data about domestic violence-related deaths and found 91 total across Ohio this year. There were 56 victims, including three children, two pregnant women and three police officers, and 35 offenders who either killed themselves or were killed by police.

The silhouettes in the YSU display represent the 27 homicides in just Northern Ohio.

In addition to the silhouettes, the display includes a binder that tells the stories of each of the 56 victims of domestic violence homicides, written by students in the YSU Criminal Justice undergraduate and graduate program.