‘Say Something’

Two hundred red flags in DeMoss courtyard are serving as a reminder for students to “Say Something” as part of Domestic and Dating Violence Awareness Week’s Red Flag Campaign. The Student Government Association and the Office of Student Conduct banded together to spread the word on Liberty’s campus and promote the importance of healthy relationships.

One of the goals of this co-curricular event is to help students learn to have healthy, respectful relationships with members of the opposite sex, Senior Conduct Officer Andrea Adams said.

“This week-long initiative is an expansion of a one-day event, The Clothesline Project, hosted last year,” Adams said. “Due to last year’s tremendous, positive response from our campus community, we realized that this topic was important to our students, faculty and staff. Thus, it was important for us to expand our awareness campaign.”

The Red Flag Campaign is being hosted by the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance and sponsored by Verizon Wireless and the Verizon Foundation.  Red flags and posters were sent to all public, private and community colleges in Virginia, hoping to raise awareness on the issue of dating violence and abuse.

“It is important for us to dedicate a week to this issue so that students (are) aware of the prevalence of domestic and dating violence and so they can break the silence if they see a relationship red flag,” Adams said.

Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the U.S., according to the American Bar Association website. But domestic and dating violence is not only physical abuse, it also includes emotional abuse, jealousy, coercion, isolation, victim-blaming, sexual assault and stalking.

“In addition to providing basic guidelines on healthy relationships, Liberty’s Domestic and Dating Violence Awareness week is designed to encourage students to say something and potentially prevent domestic and dating violence among university students,” Adams said.  “If the awareness campaign prevents one student from becoming a victim of domestic or dating violence or if the campaign helps one student understand the signs of an unhealthy relationship, the awareness campaign will be considered a success.”

Over 150 posters have been displayed around campus that show what red flags in a relationship look like. Examples of things such as communication, trust and boundaries in a healthy relationship and an abusive relationship are available at theredflagcampaign.com.

SGA and the Office of Student Conduct also sponsored a poster contest to involve students in the campaign. Entries were due Oct. 6. These posters will be displayed throughout campus and in individual residence halls, as well as off-campus residences. The winner of the contest was East 5-1&2. The girls hall received a pizza party .

FAHLE is a news reporter.

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