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Red Flag Campaign Will Call Attention to Warning Signs in Abusive Relationships

Don't be alarmed if you see hundreds of red flags around campus beginning Monday, Oct. 5. The Old Dominion University Women's Center is hosting the 4th Annual Red Flag Campaign to stop the cycle of abuse in relationships. The purpose of the month-long campaign is to encourage students to speak up when they see relationship "red flags," such as coercion, emotional abuse, sexual assault and excessive jealousy.

The Red Flag Campaign was developed by the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance with support from Verizon and the Red Flag Campaign Advisory Committee. The committee is composed of administrators, faculty, staff and students from Virginia's colleges and universities. The campaign has been successful in its efforts to decrease dating violence and promote awareness.

Joann Bautti-Roche, assistant director of the ODU Women's Center, is proud to serve on the Red Flag Campaign Advisory Committee and played an instrumental role in organizing the campaign on campus. "It's important that people can recognize and understand the warning signs in an abusive relationship. This is the primary goal of the Red Flag Campaign," she said.

Students are encouraged to wear buttons and stickers around campus in support of the campaign. These items will be available at an information table in Webb Center during activity hour on Oct. 8, 14, 15 and 20.

Special events taking place throughout the month of October include discussions, a keynote talk by actress Robin Givens, a self-defense program taught by the Norfolk Karate Academy and an exclusive residence hall program screening of "What's Love Got to Do With it?" Givens will speak on the topic of relationship violence at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 in the North Cafeteria of Webb Center. Admission is free, but those planning to attend are asked to pick up tickets to guarantee seating for the event. Tickets will be available to students beginning Oct. 5, and to the general public starting Oct. 19, at the Campus Information Center, located in the Webb Center lobby.

Joining the Women's Center as local sponsors of the Red Flag Campaign are the YWCA Response and Women in Crisis Program and the Men's Issues Committee.

Even though the campaign runs only through the month of October, there are other ways students can receive support throughout the year. The Women's Center offers year-round resources to promote healthy relationships and help women in need. The center is located behind the food court in Webb Center. The number is 683-4109.

For more information about the Red Flag Campaign, visit: http://www.theredflagcampaign.org.

This article was posted on: October 1, 2009

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