Red flags on campus remind of dating violence

Maria Glotfelter
Features Editor

Millersville students walking to classes, back to their dorms, or over to the Starbucks for an afternoon study session may have noticed red flags planted around campus. Many students know that these red flags represent warnings or “red flags” that arise in hostile dating situations. February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

Red flag
Red flags placed throughout MU’s campus remind students that dating violence is a real and prevalent threat (Photo courtesy of blogs.millersville.edu).

According to loveisrespect.org, among high school students, nearly 1.5 million young people in a year will experience some sort of physical abuse in dating relationships. Additionally, 1 in 3 students have experienced physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse in a relationship. Among young people, girls and women ages 16-24 are most at risk for violence. 94% of women ages16-19 and 70% of women ages 20-24 have experienced some sort of violence from a former partner.

The sheer amount of dating violence occurrences is not only statistic to cause worry. The lack of reporting dictates the need for awareness-raising events. In teenage relationships, 33% say they have experienced dating violence and not reported it. Additionally, 58% of parents could not completely identify all the warning signs in a relationship. The red flags serve as a visual reminder and encourage students on college campuses to speak up if they see something off.

Dating violence pervades into the college atmosphere as well. According to loveisrespect.org, 57% of students say that dating abuse is difficult to identify. An additional 58% percent of students say they would not know how to help a fellow student in a violent relationship. Because of these startling statistics, it is necessary to open up the conversation on dating violence and empower students to openly discuss dating violence.

Students can look out for several events on campus throughout the month focused on starting the conversation on this dark topic. Blogs.millersville.edu lists the following events students can attend throughout the month:

Date: Feb. 8 and 22
Event: Karlie’s Angels at the MU Basketball Games
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Location: Pucillo Gym
More information: Attend to participate at our Red Flag Table and for a chance to win an orange T-shirt! There will also be a moment of silence before the game to honor Karlie Hall before the Feb. 8 game.

Date: Feb. 14
Event: Healthy Relationships for Valentine’s Day
Time: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: Student Memorial Center, Bookstore Lobby
More information: Stop by for a chance to win an orange t-shirt!

Date: Feb. 21
Event: One Love Foundation’s Escalation Program
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Student Memorial Center, Room 18
More information: Led by MU Peer Educators

For more information on events, students can visit blogs.millersville.edu. Dating violence is an important topic, and consistent discussion is necessary for potential solutions.