Fraternities raising awareness about domestic violence

May. 05, 2014 @ 04:49 PM

Throughout April, fraternities in the Triangle area have been involved in a statewide initiative to raise awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault called Fraternities4Family.

The Fraternities4Family campaign involves young men on college campuses across North Carolina who courageously work to break the silence about domestic violence. Family law attorney Charles Ullman of Charles R. Ullman & Associates sponsors the campaign.

“In my daily work, I have seen the harms wrought by domestic violence and wanted to find a way to reduce the number of victims. I believe that men are essential to ending this type of violence,” Ullman said. “That is why I decided to work with fraternities.”

The campaign was running throughout April. “I have been amazed by the efforts and commitment of these young men. They have made a real difference in people’s lives, both to prevent future harm and to help current victims through their fundraising,” Ullman says.

N.C .State’s Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and the entire Greek community made this cause their focus for Greek Week. They gathered $25,000 in donated goods for victims served by the Durham Crisis Response Center. 

On April 27, Ullman and fraternity men from Phi Gamma Delta took part in the Center’s annual charity golf tournament, donating an additional $1,000.

“Domestic and sexual violence do not discriminate due to race, religion or economics.  Anyone or someone they love could become a victim at anytime.  The monumental efforts and contributions from NC State Greek life will help us support victims. We are so grateful,” says Tammy Donald, spokesperson for Durham Crisis Response Center.

Duke University’s Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternities garnered donations from students on campus, and hosted a fundraiser on April 24 at Devine’s Grill & Sports.

Gene Devine, owner of Devine’s, is a Duke and Phi Delta Theta alumnae, having played football as a tight end in the 1970s. When Devine heard about Fraternities4Family, he immediately offered to host a fundraiser and donate to the cause.  

"Community service and charitable events are a large part of our business. So when I read the article about Phi Delta participating in Fraternities4Family and saw some brothers here at Devine’s, we started talking about how we could help,” says Devine.

The event drew a large crowd of Duke students and people from the Durham area. Along with the student donations, Duke raised nearly $700. The funds will benefit Families Living Violence Free, a domestic violence agency that provides support to victims in the Oxford area. 

"We are honored to be the recipient of both fraternities’ efforts. We are also so grateful for these young men as they spread awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault. They truly are helping the victims we serve each day,” says Gail Birdsong, staff at the domestic violence agency.

Thomas Bagley, Phi Delta Theta community service and philanthropy chair, was proud to take part. "We want to make a difference in ending domestic violence and sexual assault.  So, to provide help for victims, we think this fundraiser seemed like a great opportunity," says Bagley.

Other participating fraternities come from Elon University, Winston-Salem State and Elizabeth City State.  They sponsored fundraising events, spread the word using #fraternities4family on social media, and some fraternity brothers volunteered to speak to middle school students about healthy relationships.

The mantra of the campaign is “One man can make a difference.” Those involved feel that they have done just that.

To read more about Fraternities4Families or to donate, go to to http://www.charlesullman.com/our-firm/fraternities4family