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ASCC Co-Sponsor Workshop on Domestic Violence

ASCC Social Science and Psychology Club Co-Sponsor Workshop on Domestic Violence

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Member of the American Samoa Alliance Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (ASADSV), along with representatives from local social service agencies, took part in a workshop on domestic violence co-sponsored by the Social Science Department and Psychology Club at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) in late October. Before a full audience of students, faculty and staff in the College’s Lecture Hall, the community advocates presented an overview of the problem of domestic violence in American Samoa, as well as a discussion of how it is being addressed and where victims can seek help.

Participating ASADSV members included Mona Uli, Outreach Community Advocacy Coordinator; Judy Matautia, Program Specialist; and Naomi Vai, Administrative Cultural & Language Coordinator. They were joined by Celestine Faumuina-Nix, M.Ed.,Branch Manager of the Child Welfare and Family Advocacy Branch, Department of Human and Social Services (DHSS); Captain Pou Supapo of the Department of Public Safety (DPS); and Fainuulelei Alailima Utu, Executive Director, American Samoa Legal Aid.

"I am so grateful for the opportunity to come to ASCC,” said Mrs. Uli. “It was exciting because we got the dialogue started. We can't deal with domestic violence until we start talking about it. Whether it's spousal abuse, partner abuse, child abuse or elder abuse, it exists everywhere. Abuse has nothing to do with love, but everything to do with power and control. Violence is a learned behavior that can be unlearned. There is counseling available for people who batter and for victims of domestic violence.”

The workshop was co-sponsored by the ASCC Social Sciences Department, in collaboration with the Psychology Club, a new student organization at the College. Psychology instructor Derek Helsham, who advises the club, explained how an event like the workshop, which focused on a prevalent community issue, represents a highly valuable learning opportunity for students. “The field of Psychology deals with personal responsibility and development,” he said. “One of my target learning outcomes is that students identify and recognize the relevance being responsible, and become actively involved with the community and families. Therefore, developing an awareness of issues like domestic violence helps create more responsible young people in the community. We have a strong focus on behaviors, in this case the approaches or steps taken in dealing with violent behavior like domestic violence.”

Members of the Psychology Club helped organize the workshop, and club president
Douglas Sene served as moderator. Other club officers include Brittany Tago (Vice President), Suluga Taliau (Secretary) and Yean Ji Jung (Treasurer). “Our purpose is to educate the students of ASCC about psychology and to basically boost their interest in this particular field,” shared Miss Taliau. “For those striving to major in Psychology, this club will help keep them informed and prepare them for their future endeavors as psychologists. We also wish to spark the interest of those who do not fully know what to expect from this field of study. We exist to promote Psychology and its many aspects, as well as to help increase communication and social skills.”

Miss Taliau forsees In the near future, we also plan on having various psychologists give speeches about their line of work and how they became interested in the psychology field. We also plan on holding field excursions that involve the students of ASCC; this will allow each and everyone of the students to communicate and socialize with one another. We also planned club gatherings as well as community service projects. We definitely plan on working tougher with other clubs from ASCC. Because we are a new club, we are still working on organizing future events.

Our club advisor is Mr. Derek Helsham.

There is no set limit for the members of the Psychology Club. We actually encourage everyone who has interests in joining to come forth and be a part of the Psychology Club. Despite being new this semester, we already have a ton planned out for the future. It does not matter whether or not you are planning on pursuing a career in the psychology/science field. The club will definitely help strengthen your people skills that are commonly used everyday. However, if you do plan on joining the Psychology Club, you must be an active member, meaning you must make sure that you attend all meetings, participate in the organized club events and fundraisers and be sure to notify any of the club officers or advisor in advance if you are unable to be unaccounted for any of the functions. You may contact any of the Club officers or Mr. Derek Helsham if you are interested in joining.

Our club is all about open discussions. The officers and advisors work together with their members to discuss future events that everyone sees fit for the club. Although many may think that we are strict with our activities, our club does promote fun activities that will help unite each of the members, so that we can all learn and have fun at the same time.

DHSS is getting ready to begin their batterer's intervention program. Celebrate Recovery, a 12-step program, is for anyone struggling with an addictive or compulsive behavior - available on Saturdays at 10 a.m. at the Alliance office. Also the Alliance office has a 24-hour talk line for people who want to talk. It's confidential and you can also get referrals and resources at 733-4334."

6. As Mr. Psychology Major, what do you feel students can gain from studying psychology?
As Mr. Helsham I hope my students do a good job in class lol! In psychology our behaviors and how we process those behaviors give us insight to people’s thoughts and their psychological-emotional state. It supports questions as to why people do the things they do without passing judgment. Hopefully with the knowledge of psychology ASCC students could become more mindful people, understanding people, and hopefully helpful people helping others.


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