Editor’s note: This event was hosted by the Women’s Center at the University of Connecticut. The author of this story works at the Women’s Center.
As we progress through October, which recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Women’s Center hosted “The Yellow Dress.”
The one-act play, directed through the foundation of Deana’s Educational Theatre Company, depicted stories of young women who were victims of dating violence, a form of gender based violence.
The production revolves around a third-year college student named Anna, who is preparing for her formal dance. Like most students who are preparing for formal, Anna is anxious about the dance. Unfortunately, Anna is dealing with the unforeseen ending of her three-year relationship with her boyfriend, Ricky.
While contemplating what to wear to formal, Anna shakingly begins to discuss her relationship with Ricky. What seemed to be a romantic tale of two loved-ones, Anna’s reality begins to prevail as she admits to brief, yet harmful experiences brought by Ricky.
In one instance, Anna repeatedly shared how Ricky reminded her to “keep her big fat mouth closed” whenever she encountered someone other than himself. Unfortunately, Anna disclosed other occurrences, including detailed instances of sexual assault.
The performance transitions to another scene, in which Anna comes out of her closet with an ideal dress to wear to formal. Anna is wearing a red dress, which she exclaims would grab Ricky’s attention and win him back.
Anna proceeds with the story, deliberating on her continued experiences of sexual and verbal assault. At this point, Anna begins to recognize the toxic tendencies of Ricky, including how no one would believe her if she were to disclose her experiences.
In the third scene, Anna returns on stage with a beautiful, yellow dress drenched in blood. “I am done with him,” says Anna, then detailing her death, caused by dating violence. This drastic change of events drew the entire audience to realize how powerful and destructive dating violence can be.
The daunting scene in which Anna closes her experience educated the UConn community about how common dating violence is on college campuses.
“The Yellow Dress” not only served as a play to raise awareness of dating violence as a form of gender based violence, but to start conversations about understanding different forms of gender based violence and how to support victims and survivors.
Paola Perez is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.