SPC participating in statewide campaign to prevent dating violence, sexual assault

by BRANDI ORTIZ//News Editor

South Plains College will host the Red Flag Campaign during the month of February on the Levelland campus.

The Health and Wellness Center staff hopes to spread awareness about sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking on college campuses through the campaign from Feb. 3 to Feb. 17.

Friends and family members are the most likely group of people to seek resources and information to help victims of dating and domestic violence,” said Dr. Lynne Cleavinger, director of Health and Wellness at SPC. “For college students surrounded by their peer group, this may be the most important intervention they have.”

During the two-week period of the campaign, red flags and posters will be displayed to illustrate possible signs that might be present in a violent relationship.

“We really like [the posters] because it targets not just the normative heterosexual relationship, but also homosexual or other different types of relationships that are portrayed throughout,” says Dr. Cleavinger.

According to the campaign website, college students are at a higher risk of either acting as a perpetrator or being a victim of dating, physical or sexual violence during their college years. Peer groups have the ability to provide information on how to safely dictate what behaviors are unacceptable and how friends can intervene in a violent relationship.

“When with friends, if you see something, if you see a red flag, say something,” Dr. Cleavinger explains. “You are going to see things in other relationships that they might not see at the same time.”

Dr. Cleavinger also plans to not only share how to be aware of an abusive relationship, but also  how to have a healthy, safe, and loving partnership.

“What to expect in a healthy relationship is huge,” says Dr. Cleavinger, “especially since it is coming out right at Valentine’s Day. We really want the students to see their own self worth, in and out of the relationship, not totally defined by the relationship.”

The Health and Wellness Center asks that faculty participate by showing a short video, provided by the center, before class. Also, they ask that information about the Red Flag Campaign be displayed in classrooms, offices, or halls.

For more information on what constitutes dating violence, how to help, or how to get help for a friend, visit the staff at the Health and Wellness Center, or visit www.TheRedFlagCampaign.org.

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