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Red Flag Campaign on Campus Draws Attention to Relationship Violence Awareness Month Events

This is Relationship Violence Awareness Month, and Old Dominion University's Women's Center has planned a series of events to highlight the need to be vigilant of the issues of coercion, isolation, jealousy and emotional abuse that can occur in relationships.

Throughout the month of October, red flags will be displayed around Kaufman Mall to alert students to the "red flags" in their relationships. Posters will be placed around campus to explain what the warning signs could be for an unhealthy relationship, and how to get help.

"The Red Flag Campaign is really a unique way for us to get the students involved in the primary prevention of sexual and relationship violence," said Joann Bautti-Roche, assistant director and SAFE coordinator for ODU's Women's Center. "When we provide the tools for them to recognize the signs of unhealthy and potentially abusive behavior patterns, we empower them to be engaged bystanders who are invested in the safety of their peers and their community."

Research indicates that in 21 percent of college dating relationships, one of the partners is being abused.

The Red Flag Campaign is a public awareness campaign designed to address dating violence and promote its prevention on college campuses. The campaign was created using a "bystander intervention" strategy, encouraging friends and other campus community members to say something when they see warning signs of dating violence in a friend's relationship. The campaign posters reflect racially and ethnically diverse models, and illustrate both heterosexual and same-sex relationships.

In addition to the flag displays, two other events will shine a spotlight on the issue later this month.

On Monday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in the Mills Godwin Jr. Building auditorium, Denise Brown, whose sister Nicole Brown Simpson was murdered in a high-profile case 15 years ago, will share her personal story of the devastating loss of her sister.

Following her sister's murder, Brown learned about the cycle of domestic violence and began to educate others on a topic she knew nothing about before her sister's death. She will discuss healthy relationships, how to get involved in community safety initiatives and how men can be partners in the fight against domestic violence.

On Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 12:30 p.m. in the Potomac Room of Webb Center, a survivor of relationship violence from the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Survivor Caucus will share her own story of surviving relationship violence. Students will hear firsthand the impact of personal trauma and how to find the path to surviving and thriving.

The Red Flag Campaign is a project of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, and was created by college students, college personnel and community victim advocates. The campaign is funded by grants from the Verizon Foundation, Verizon Wireless, Macy's Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more information about the Red Flag Campaign, call the Women's Center at 683-4109 or visit the website http://studentaffairs.odu.edu/WC.


This article was posted on: October 14, 2010

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Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.