Counseling Center, Student Affairs at Beren Campus Bring Show to Point Out Signs of Abuse

Feb 13, 2006 — In an effort to sensitize students to the signs of abusive relationships, Yeshiva University’s Counseling Center at Beren Campus, Stern College for Women’s Department of Student Affairs, and the P2P peer counseling program hosted “Flowers Aren’t Enough,” a one-woman show starring Naomi Ackerman.

“The show is a monologue that tells the story of Michal, a young woman from an upper-middle-class family who finds herself in an abusive relationship,” explained Ms. Ackerman.

In the show, Michal describes how her partner gradually narrows her world, isolating her from her friends and family. Members of the audience see her denial, guilt, and how social conditioning intensifies her shame and despair. They witness Michal sink into darkness and then watch her take charge of her life.

“We want students to be aware of the things in relationships that work and the problems that might come up,” said Dr. Victor Schwartz, director of the university’s counseling center.

Ms. Ackerman created the monologue from true stories and actual incidents shared by women willing to talk about their all-too-common experiences.

Many of the Stern students who attended the show were surprised that Michal didn’t leave her husband right away. “However, that is the nature of most victims of abusive relationships,” Stern student and P2P peer counselor Judy Alkoby pointed out. “They justify behavior that is abusive because of the other positive aspects of the relationship.”

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