Throughout the month of October, Emory & Henry College will be taking part in the Red Flag Campaign in a statewide effort to address dating violence on Virginia’s campuses. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage students to speak up when they see red flags for dating violence in their friends’ relationships.
The campaign began on Oct. 4 with the placement of red flags and posters around campus, as well as a traveling display in the back of Van Dyke cafeteria called “Silent Witnesses” that includes art and poems from victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Events scheduled throughout the month include a wear red day to show your support for the campaign on Oct. 25. The following day will include a new event for this year, a cookie social and poetry slam being held at the Tobias Smyth Cabin from 7:30p.m.-8:30 p.m. The campaign will conclude with a "Red Out" at the E&H volleyball match on Oct. 28.
The Red Flag Campaign focuses on the issues of emotional abuse, excessive jealousy, isolation, victim-blaming, coercion, sexual assault and stalking as well as the characteristics of healthy relationships. According to campaign organizers, a partner is being abused in one of five college dating relationships.
According to Jill Smeltzer, director of counseling with the Powell Resource Center at Emory & Henry College, the Red Flag Campaign is continuing to grow and make a difference.
“I have had a few students in the past tell me they were so grateful for this campaign because they were able to recognize red flags in their relationships,” Smeltzer said. “One older, non-traditional student called after the first campaign in 2007 to say that she wished she had this information on red flags in relationships when she was first in college. She ended up in an abusive relationship and it took her years to get away from this relationship.”
This year's Red Flag Campaign is sponsored by Wachovia, Wells Fargo Insurance, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, The Life Center of Galax, Salon on the Square, Abuse Alternative, Inc., and Commonwealth Attorney Dennis Godfrey.
For more information about the Red Flag Campaign, visit www.theredflagcampaign.org or contact Jill Smeltzer at firstname.lastname@example.org (276.944.6144), or program co-chairs Hai Yan Chen at email@example.com and Laura Dowell at firstname.lastname@example.org.