Laken Brooks: Raising Awareness

Posted on: Thursday, August 27th, 2015 by Brent Treash
Laken Brooks has witnessed the positive impact of an annual campaign at Emory & Henry that seeks to raise regional awareness about dating and domestic violence.

Laken Brooks has witnessed the positive impact of an annual campaign at Emory & Henry that seeks to raise regional awareness about dating and domestic violence.

The campaign, known as the Red Flag Campaign has “enhanced the level of honesty that we, as a college and as students, have when addressing this topic of violence and how to prevent it.”

But Brooks, who describes herself as a “stubborn” student who is passionate about community outreach, was not satisfied with simply raising awareness about the problem; she was intent on doing something that could help individuals already caught up in violent situations and needing a way out.

So she has developed an app that helps victims easily locate and connect with resources in their regions that help them escape domestic violence. Called “Dollar Dinners,” the app provides information about healthy and affordable eating. But the information, however useful, is a cover for the real intention of the app.

Deeper within the site are resources, categorized by state and region, about domestic violence services and other information intended to help victims.

“People in violent situations are often very controlled by others. They also feel sometimes that there is a stigma associated with searching for help,” Brooks said. “They often need to be able to keep information about their search for help secret until they can escape their situations.”

While developing and disseminating her app, she continues to help raise awareness about dating and domestic violence. She has led efforts to extend a traditional march associated with the E&H Red Flag Campaign to other campuses across Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and Tennessee.

Organizers of the E&H march have contacted campuses in these states, asking them to participate in a march or some demonstration against domestic violence during the month of October. Already officials and student organizers from 10 campuses have expressed an interest in joining in the effort.

Most people know that something needs to be done in this area. The combined efforts of multiple communities, all taking a physical stand concerning this cause, will create a much vaster, positive impact than one college’s Red Flag Campaign is capable of doing.Laken Brooks

Emory & Henry has enabled Brooks, a native of Lansing, N.C., who is majoring in secondary English education, to think deeply about issues and has empowered her to act on her passions, to solve problems and to seek results. “Emory & Henry has helped me channel my energies through important projects, giving me the tools to help focus on real problems and to seek solutions.”


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