Essay contest aims to raise awareness of domestic violence

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 | 4:58 p.m. CDT; updated 1:11 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — The Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is sponsoring a student essay contest to raise awareness of the impact of domestic violence.

The “Love Shouldn’t Hurt” essay contest is open to all Boone County students, including those in private or home schooling.

Kelley Lucero, who is helping organize the contest, said she’s been interested in hosting such an essay contest for some time.

“I’m just curious to see what they write,” she said.

The Shelter will award a $100 prize to the best three student essayists: one prize each at the middle school, junior high school and high school levels. First place winners will have their stories published in the Columbia Missourian and Columbia Daily Tribune, Lucero said. If a winner does not want her or his name in the newspaper, the essay will be published anonymously.

Second and third place winners in each category will receive gift certificates.

All awards are being donated to The Shelter, Lucero said.

Submitted essays can be fiction or nonfiction and about healthy relationships or dating abuse or violence. Essays can be typed or handwritten and must be between 50 and 2,000 words. Lucero said students should be sure that any statistics they use in their essays are factual.

Students should submit essays with their name, school and age — and phone number if home schooled — by Nov. 16. Essays can be submitted to a student’s teacher, or they can be mailed to Comprehensive Human Services, 800 N. Providence Road, Suite 200, Columbia, MO 65203. Teachers can call Lucero at 875-0503 to arrange a time for her to pick up essays. Parents can also call Lucero if they have any further questions about the contest. Winners will be announced on Nov. 26.

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