SERV Leads Creative Effort Against Domestic Violence By Rebecca Getto '15

Last month during the
holiday season, Needham shoppers noticed something new.  Ten boxes were set out with local merchants
to raise money for Needham's Domestic Violence Awareness Committee (DVAC).  But they weren't just any collection
boxes.  Sophomore Rebecca Getto explains how she and other Olin students took the
project one step further.   - Sally Phelps, PGP


DVAC Collection Box 2012.jpg


DVAC's New Collection Box


When SERV was asked to
create 10 collection boxes for the Domestic Violence Action
(DVAC), I knew I wanted to give them something that was uniquely
Olin, something they couldn't get anywhere else. I wanted to create something
that would draw attention and truly encompass the ideals of this great


I worked alongside Janaki Perera ('14) and Trevor Hooton
('14) to come up with the design for the collection boxes. We decided that a
house would be the best shape for the boxes as it would remind people exactly
where their money is going; to rebuilding safe and violence-free homes for
families in Needham.


We wanted the boxes to be durable and sustainable, so we
chose to construct the houses out of MDF (medium density fibreboard). The MDF
gives the houses a warm appearance that represents the safe homes DVAC is
working to create.


Once we had all the details of the design worked out, we
created a CAD model of houses and Alex Kessler ('15) cut the pieces for us on
the laser cutter in Olin's machine shop. We designed them to fit together
easily, like puzzle pieces, so that all members of the Olin community -  students, parents, and siblings, could build
them together at our annual Family Weekend last fall.


DVAC Silent Witness 2012.jpg


Silent Witness
silhouette of Abigail Benway, 7 of Oxford,
, shot and killed by her father
weeks after her parents separated.

Our collection boxes were introduced at Take
Back the Night
, an anti-violence event organized by Needham High School
students in early December. The Silent Witness Exhibit was also on display -
this traveling exhibit used art to
educate and sensitize people to domestic violence. The Silent Witnesses are
free-standing, life-sized, red silhouettes each representing a woman, man, or
child who was murdered in Massachusetts last year due to dating or domestic
violence. Each witness displayed the name and story of a homicide victim.
Because these individuals no longer have a voice, the silhouettes are known as
Silent Witnesses.


This project was a lot of hard work, but I feel that it
really paid off in the end. I hope we have given DVAC something that will make
a significant difference in public awareness and fundraising efforts for this
important cause.


Founded in 1996, DVAC
addresses domestic violence, teen dating violence, elder abuse and other
violence related issues in the Needham Community.  The money collected in December will support DVAC
activities, such as providing education in schools and the community, referring
residents to domestic violence services, and supporting Take Back the Night and
Rape Aggression Defense classes.

For more information about Needham's
Domestic Violence Awareness Committee please call 781-455-7500 x 511 or visit



PostScript:  You may think this story has nothing to do
with Post Graduate Planning.  However, it
is projects like this that make us so proud of our students. And so often we
see that those who are committed to service at Olin remain committed to serving
others for the rest of their lives.   -- PGP

Posted in: A Broader World View, From Our Staff, Making a Difference