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Red Flag campaign launched at RCC

On April 2 and 3, Rappahannock Community College’s Student Support Services (SSS) Office sponsored events beginning this year’s Red Flag Campaign. April has been designated Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the United States, and the campaign highlights a series of “red flag” behaviors that should alert a victim’s friends and family to the possibility of an abusive dating relationship. Small red flags have been placed in prominent locations around RCC’s Glenns, Kilmarnock, and Warsaw campuses in order to stimulate interest in the matter.

Some of the “red flags” that point to a violent relationship include name-calling, excessive jealousy, blaming, isolation, and emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse. Often these behaviors begin subtly, and are hidden from friends and family; but over time they tend to become increasingly dangerous and noticeable. The Red Flag Campaign’s goal is to raise public awareness about sexual violence, and to educate communities and individuals about its prevention. It is hoped that increased awareness of the subject will encourage RCC students to speak up when they observe these danger signals in their friends’ relationships. During the month of April, SSS will be hosting several programs and events addressing the issue of dating violence and promoting healthy relationships.

At the two initial events, SSS administrative officer Lorraine Justice gave examples from her own college experiences of violent relationships among her friends. Student attendees were encouraged to report suspicious incidents—with assurance of confidentiality—to a counselor or other RCC staff member. As further resources, Justice recommended The Haven (a Northern Neck shelter for abused women and children: 1-800-224-2836 or www.havenshelter.org), the Laurel Shelter (Gloucester, 804-694-5552), and the One Love Foundation (http://www.joinonelove.org), which is dedicated to honoring the memory of murdered University of Virginia senior Yeardley Love by supporting the causes she cared about and working to end relationship violence.

At the annual Spring Fling events on both campuses (April 11 in Warsaw and April 18 in Glenns), there will be Red Flag booths where students can get information and also enter a drawing for a Subway gift card. Students bringing white T-shirts to the Spring Flings will have the opportunity to tie-dye them in order to wear on each campus’s Red Flag Campaign support day (April 22 in Warsaw and April 23 in Glenns). Also, the Glenns Campus Spring Fling will host a bake sale benefiting the Laurel Shelter. On April 16 at 12:20 p.m., two guest speakers from the Laurel Shelter—sexual assault advocate Liz Lyon and sexual assault program coordinator Ebony Lynch—will address both campuses simultaneously by way of the college’s interactive video facilities. In addition, Red Flag information will be shown on the plasma screens in the halls at Glenns, Kilmarnock, and Warsaw.

 

Photo: RCC’s Student Support Services administrative officer, Lorraine Justice, displays one of the red flags that have been placed around RCC campuses in order to call attention to the issue of relationship violence.

One Response to “Red Flag campaign launched at RCC”

  1. Louisa G. Bridges says:

    I am so glad RCC participating. It is very needed on this campus.

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