by Angela Fortuna
Small red flags line the campus of Central Connecticut State University to show support for those who have suffered from relationship violence.
The Red Flag Campaign at CCSU started about six years ago by the Women’s Center, and has expanded over the past four years through the Office of Diversity and Equity, according to Nicholas D’Agostino, Associate in Diversity and Equity.
Research indicates that one in five college students experience dating violence, according to the Red Flag Campaign.
D’Agostino and Lyndsay Ruffolo, professor of criminology and criminal justice, are leading the campaign this year.
“We run the campaign annually as we know the visibility and conscious raising efforts for the campaign make a difference for our community,” D’Agostino said.
The campaign aims to give necessary attention to the issue of relationship violence in order to end it.
“The Red Flag Campaign uses a bystander intervention strategy to address and prevent sexual assault, dating violence and stalking on college campuses. The campaign encourages friends and other campus community members to say something when they see warning signs, or “red flags,” for sexual assault, dating violence or stalking in a friend’s relationship,” according to the Red Flag Campaign.
The Office of Diversity and Equity collaborates with many groups and organizations on campus, including Student Wellness Services, Residence Life, the Office of Victim Advocacy, the Women’s Center and more.
“The importance of these collaborations showcase how we all play a role in ending violence on our campus,” D’Agostino said.
According to the Red Flag Campaign, there are many red flags that indicate relationship violence. This includes name-calling, excessive jealousy, blaming, isolation, stalking and physical or sexual abuse.
Many times, people are afraid to share signs of relationship violence with friends and family because they do not believe these behaviors are anything to worry about. However, over time, these “red flags” could become increasingly dangerous.
The Red Flag Campaign’s major campus event, “Why We Say Something – A Conversation with Everyday CCSU Activists Working to End Relationship Violence,” will be held today at 4:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall in the Student Center.
“This Real Conversation Forum will feature an amazing panel who will discuss their stories of standing up to end domestic and intimate partner violence,” according to the event’s poster.
Anyone interested in volunteering at a program, attending an event or joining the organizing committee is asked to contact D’Agostino by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The organizing committee builds the events each year, puts the flags out, selects speakers and develops a marketing plan to get the campus involved in the program,” D’Agostino informed.
On-campus students can seek support through the Office of Victim Advocacy, located in Carroll Hall 248; the Office of Diversity and Equity, located in Davidson Hall 102; Student Affairs, located in Davidson Hall 103; the Women’s Center, located in the Student Center; and Residence Life, located in Mid-Camus Residence Hall.