RIT students raise awareness of domestic violence

Red Flag Campaign features five days of education and workshops

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Several events to raise awareness about dating violence on college campuses are being planned at Rochester Institute of Technology next week, starting Monday.

The Red Flag Campaign is a national program that encourages students to wear red and talk about the subject of violence in relationships. And it encourages students to intervene if they see their friends in danger or in unhealthy relationships to intervene.

“Research shows 21 percent of college dating relationships are abusive,” says Kelly Lenis, Red Flag Campaign coordinator for RIT, and coordinator for Student Life Programming at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

There are many “red flags” that suggest an abusive relationship, including name-calling, excessive jealousy, isolation, stalking and physical and/or sexual abuse. Designed with a bystander intervention strategy, the campaign encourages friends and other campus community members to say something when they see warning signs of dating violence in a friend’s relationship.

All events are free and open to the public. Sign language interpreters will be provided.

Mon. Feb. 11

• Wear Red Day. Wear red and create your own flags to help educate the RIT community about the ‘red flag’ behaviors in dating violence. Red flags will be available in the Student Development Center and Student Activity Union, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Consent-O-Grams. Send candy to a friend with a message about consent. In the SAU, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. each day.

• Red Watch Band. Providing students with the knowledge, awareness and skills to prevent toxic drinking deaths and to promote a student culture of kindness, responsibility, compassion and mutual respect. Hosted by Karen Pelc, health education coordinator, and Mistie Cramer, Substance & Alcohol Intervention Services for the Deaf prevention educator. SDC, 7-9 p.m.

Tues. Feb. 12

• The Clothesline Project. Shirts designed by student survivors and friends and their stories of interpersonal violence are shared. Design your own shirt for the display. Donated shirts from The Adair Group. Shown in the SDC and SAU 1-4 p.m.

• In Their Shoes: Teen Dating Violence. An interactive exercise to help understand decisions teens and young adults make in their relationships. Hosted by Darci Lane-Williams, director of RIT’s Center for Women and Gender, and Mistie Cramer in the RIT ASL & Deaf Studies Community Center, SAU 2510, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Wed. Feb. 13

• Can I Have Permission to Touch Your Body? Educate yourself to be responsible for your own body and learn how to respond to situations when you are touched. Hosted by Darci Lane-Williams. SAU 1829 noon-1 p.m.

• Dating Violence: Catch Me If You Can. Learn ways to recognize when you or others are going through a type of dating violence and how to respond. Hosted by the NTID Student Life Team. (Intended for deaf audience members). SDC 1300 7-9 p.m.

• Relationships: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Hear how a healthy relationship and an unhealthy relationship look and strategies to keep things healthy. Hosted by Cha Ron Sattler, associate director for the Center for Women and Gender, and Rhea Zweifler, RIT counselor. (Intended for hearing audience members). SDC 1310. 7-8:30 p.m.

Thurs. Feb. 14

• I Pledge to Take a Stand Against Domestic Violence. Students can draw and sign a petition against domestic violence. SDC and SAU, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Fri. Feb. 15

• In Their Shoes: Teen Dating Violence. An interactive exercise to help understand decisions teens and young adults make in their relationships. Hosted by Debbye Byrne, associate director of the NTID Student Life Team, and Andy Schewe, residence coordinator for Sol Heumann Hall. SDC first floor, 2-3 p.m.

• The Color Red. A runway show, award ceremony and dancing with DJ Anton to celebrate the Red Flag Campaign. Presented by the Student Life Team, the Deaf Basketball Association and Tiger Media. 10 p.m.-2 a.m. SAU Davis Room.

For more information on what constitutes dating violence, how to help, or how to get help for a friend, visit TheRedFlagCampaign.org.