OASIS launches Red Flag campaign against assault
Published: Monday, September 30, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 00:09
“One in three college students report physically assaulting a dating partner in the last 12 months.”
“In 21 percent of college dating relationships, one partner is being abused.”
These facts come the Red Flag Campaign’s website and demonstrate the rates of abuse on college campuses. It’s also important to keep in mind that some abuse goes unreported and is therefore unaccounted for.
That is what the Red Flag Campaign’s mission is: to prevent signs of abuse, red flags, from going unreported and to promote healthier dating relationships in general. For this to be done, people must be aware of signs associated with relationship violence first.
The Red Flag Campaign brings awareness to the darker side of dating relationships and uses bystander intervention — saying something when any “red flags” are seen — as it’s main strategy to bring change.
Outreach & Advocacy: Sexuality Information for Students, OASIS, is a campus program that hosts several events and workshops a year, including Take Back the Night, Love Your Body Day and FemSex, a workshop that offers women a safe environment to explore issues of sexuality, identity and empowerment.
Students can look at the Red Flag display and read what other students consider to be red flags, learn about warning signs of dating violence, and learn what constitutes a healthy relationship. Students will also be able to fill out a flag about what he or she has to say about relationship violence.
When situations that require intervention, the bystander effect happens without much conscious thought. The bystander effect states that the greater the number of people who witness a situation that needs intervention, like abuse or a medical emergency, the less likely it is that any of them will intervene. In larger groups, everyone assumes that someone else will do something, which leads to nothing happening.
In contrast, Bystander Intervention encourages bystanders to intervene because it places responsibility on each bystander.
“In educating students about relationship and sexual violence, OASIS is not trying to categorize people into ‘victim’ or ‘predator’ categories,” says Kate Emmerich, the OASIS program coordinator. “Instead, we charge all students and others in the ETSU community with the mission of engaging in bystander intervention ...
“We encourage students to consider if a family member or best friend were in a situation, how they would want others to respond. We want to create a community in which we care about each other, even if we don’t know each other on a personal level. That means saying or doing something if you see someone being disrespectful or taking advantage of someone else.
“We need to be brave enough to intervene in situations that many of us have been led to believe are ‘private matters’ in which we are not supposed to get involved. But it’s so important that we do, because that is how we, as an ETSU community, establish that it is not ok with us. Silence is compliance. And if 1 in 5 college relationships involve partner abuse, we can’t afford to be silent.”
The Red Flag Campaign’s motto is simple: “When you see a red flag, say something.”
For more information, visit www.theredflagcampaign.org. For more information on OASIS or to join the OASIS mailing list for reminders and volunteer opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org and like them on Facebook (oasisetsu).