The Warrior Performance Group Does Its Part to Combat Domestic Violence

The NFL suspended Ray Rice, former Baltimore Ravens running back, in September after a graphic video surfaced of Rice striking his then fiancée, now wife Janay Rice, twice in the face knocking her unconscious.

The video outraged millions of people after it made national headlines on CNN, ESPN as well as plenty of other news channels, and got everyone talking about the issue of domestic violence.

The issue resides not only in the professional sports world but also in the everyday lives of millions of families across of America.

One club in particular at MHS, The Warriors Performance Group, speaks out against domestic violence each school year.

Mrs. Welsh, the WPG sponsor said the club’s work is important “because [domestic violence] is a major issue both in our community, and in the world.

Almost everyone knows a victim, and, through our awareness program, we hope to empower both boys and girls to recognize behaviors that could lead to their victimization,” she said.

WPG speaks out against physical abuse during some of their events, including their poetry slams, walks against domestic violence, their service activities with Laurel House Shelter, and the Clothesline Projects.

Laurel House is an anti-domestic violence agency that offers shelter and support to victims of abuse. They serve individuals, families and communities throughout Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

WPG members go to the Laurel House to support, help and attempt to understand the struggle that many women and children face every day from domestic violence.

“From being at the Laurel House events and hearing the horrible trials these women have gone through, and how Laurel House helped them put their lives back together, I have the upmost respect for the organization,” said Katie Coyle, a president of WPG.

The same club offers a different method of speaking out against the same issue. The Clothesline Project, a program that enables women to speak out about domestic violence in a creative way, has its participants decorate T-shirts with meaningful messages about domestic violence. After that, they hang those messages on a clothesline as a testimony to the problem of violence against women.

Coyle said she likes the Clothesline Project because it offers an outlet for victims of abuse.

“I love the Clothesline Project because it takes something as horrible as sexual violence and takes these terrible experiences, and through the meaning of the shirts, serves as a sort of release for its victims.”

WPG co-president Lexie Greenburg said high school students should become more aware of abuse around them because first-time domestic violence exposure will most likely occur during a person’s teenage years.

“This is the time where most of these horrible acts happen. From high school forward is when the danger increases. It is good to be well educated on the topic in order to help prevent it,” she said.

Ava Zinno, also a co-president of WPG, also agreed on how important it is for teens to be aware of domestic violence.

“With more awareness comes more action and hopefully we can all put an end to the horrible things that are happening worldwide. Students can come to WPG meetings and participate in our organization to become involved with these efforts. They could also participate in activities through Laurel House or any other sexual/domestic violence organization,” said Zinno.

In addition to the Oct. 8 Laurel House walk, and The Clothesline Project this spring, WPG will also host other events such as the Martin Luther King performance in January.