Statewide Campaign Helps Campus Community Recognize Red Flags

October 1, 2008

Red flags like these dotted campus September 29 and 30.What is the story with all the red flags on campus? Is Mary Baldwin University’s physical plant marking the boundaries of a major project? Are certain sections of the grass off-limits for walking? What do they mean?

It’s time you know. Red flags placed around campus at the beginning of the week are a visual representation of the Red Flag Campaign, a statewide initiative to keep college students on the alert about dating violence. Apple Day, October 1, is the official reveal date of the campaign’s mission, and students helped spread the word by painting Red Flag images on the windows of participating downtown businesses. The college, in collaboration with New Directions Center (a safe haven for victims of physical and emotional abuse in Staunton), will work throughout October to promote awareness of dangerous dating violence. Activities will culminate in a Take Back the Night rally October 30.

The most important thing you can do this month is to make it your business to recognize the six red flags of dating violence, as described by the campaign. Posters around campus reinforce the six signs and offer examples of how to respond if you see a situation where they are present:

  • coercion
  • emotional abuse
  • sexual assault
  • victim-blaming
  • excessive jealousy
  • isolation

Is this a serious issue? Yes. Dating violence happens in one out of five intimate relationships among college students, according to New Directions Center representatives. Find more online at www.theredflagcampaign.org and in the October 7 issue ofThe Cupola.