What is the Red Flag Campaign?
This campaign is a statewide public awareness effort aimed at stopping relationship violence on college campuses in Virginia. The goal of the campaign is to encourage us all to speak up when we see red flags (or warning signs for potential abusive or unhealthy behaviors) in our friends' relationships. The campaign was created by the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance and is being used to prevent relationship violence in 49 states.
Why should you get involved?
Think about it. What is your responsibility as a friend? Is it to protect the “privacy” of your friend who is possibly being abused? Is it to defend another friend’s behavior, even though it could be abusive or violent?
Yes, sometimes we may feel pressure not to air a friend’s business or to minimize what’s going on. But please consider that relationship violence is not a “personal issue” and it is not something to be kept private. Relationship violence is a community issue…and sometimes a criminal one.
Research indicates that in 21% of college dating relationships, one of the partners is being abused. That’s 1 in 5 relationships.
So, if you want to know how to help a friend when it comes to relationship violence, here are some ideas.
- Don’t assume that it doesn’t happen at Virginia Tech. It does.
- Don’t assume that just because your friend doesn’t ask for help, she or he doesn’t want or need help.
- Don’t assume that just because you don’t see evidence of physical abuse, what is happening in your friends emotionally abusive relationship isn’t damaging…whether spiritually, emotionally, physically, or sexually.
Pay attention to red flags, and trust your instincts. If you see something in your friend’s relationship that makes you feel uneasy, something you can’t quite put your finger on…say something. Tell your friend what you’ve noticed and ask if there’s anything you can do to help.
How can you get involved?
- RFC Group Photo Project: Tell everyone that your group/organization will say something when you see relationship red flags by submitting a photo of your group members holding red flags. Follow us on Instagram (@womenscentervt, #redflagcampaign) to see who is pledging to say something. Check out past year's RFC Photo Project groups!
- #HealthyRelationship Project: Share your healthy relationship stories with us on Instagram (@womenscentervt) and Twitter (@VT_WC). Tag us in your post during the month of October and use #HealthyRelationship and you could win prizes such as a date night in Blacksburg for you and your partner!
- Red Flag Week, including Wear Red Day as well as other opportunities to get involved and show your support for the cause, will take place during the month of October. Please check back for specific dates and information. Wear Red Day is also held during the month's activities in support the Red Flag Campaign. Let survivors know they are not alone, and that you will say something when you see the relationship red flags!
- Request a presentation for your group or organization on healthy relationships.
- Learn about relationship red flags and characteristics of healthy relationships.
- Live the message every day, not just in October. When you see a red flag, say something. Speak up when peers say things that support disrespect or violence. Step in (if it is safe to do so) when one person is mistreating another verbally, physically, or emotionally. Call for help if it is not safe to step in yourself. Talk later if you feel like the person (the abuser or the person being abused) will be more receptive to what you are saying in private.
What's Happening During October 2016?
- September 28th, 10A-2P @ Lavery Hall: Tabling with information on healthy and unhealthy relationships and lots of giveaways and prizes!
- October 5th, 6-8PM @ Commonwealth Ballroom, Squires: It's On Us, Hokies Kickoff Event
- October 11th, 10A-2P @ West End: Tabling with information on healthy and unhealthy relationships and lots of giveaways and prizes!
- October 19th, 3-6PM: SafeZone Healthy Relationships (register here)
- October 19th, 10A-2P @ The Drillfield: Tabling with information on healthy and unhealthy relationships and lots of giveaways and prizes!
- October 24th, 11A-11P @ Benny Marzano's: Support Alpha Chi Omega's #DVAM effort. Stop by and take part in Percentage Night benefitting the Women's Resource Center of the New River Valley. Learn more here.
- October 26th, 10A-2P @ McBryde Hall: Tabling with information on healthy and unhealthy relationships and lots of giveaways and prizes!
- October 26th, 7PM @ Burruss Hall: MOCK ROCK! Support Alpha Chi Omega's #DVAM Lip Sync Competition. Learn more here.
- October 27th is WEAR RED DAY! Wear red to show the world that Hokies "Say Something" when we see red flags of relationship violence, and to show victims/survivors in our community that they are not alone.
- October 27th, 10A-2P @ the Library Plaza: Tabling with information on healthy and unhealthy relationships and lots of giveaways and prizes!
- November 2nd, 3-6PM: SafeZone Healthy Relationships (register here)
POSTERS: We have bystander intervention posters! Want a great, eye-catching poster to help make sure your friends and colleagues are informed about relationship red flags? Contact us to ask for a poster containing information on red flags of relationship violence to display in your office or other prominent area on campus. Let us know your name, the number of posters you have space for, and a mail code or address to send them to.
Presentations & Photo Project: Are you interested in having a short, 15-minute informal educational presentation brought to your club, organization, or meeting? Contact us to set up a time. If you are willing, we'd love to have you also take a photo in support of the campaign so that we can share on social media that your organization will "say something" when you see red flags.
#HealthyRelationships Contest: Do you use social media? Do you have a #HealthyRelationship to celebrate? You could win prizes for sharing a photo on twitter or Instagram, captioning it with why it depicts a healthy relationship, and tagging us (@womenscentervt or @vt_wc) and using #healthyrelationships. Check out Facebook (fb.com/VTRFC) or other social media for more information.