Each year, during the month of October, Student Development launches the Red Flag Campaign. Students, faculty, and staff can engage with the campaign through “planted” plots of red flags across campus and on social media.
The Red Flag Campaign encourages college students to intervene and say something when they see a warning sign (“Red Flag”) of dating/relationship violence.
Relationship or dating violence can happen to anyone—straight, gay, male, or female, and can include verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse.
Repeated following, harassment, or other unwanted communication
Limiting who someone can hang out with
Using emotional pressure or physical threats to engage in sexual/other acts Sexual assault – pressuring or forcing someone into sexual activity against his/her will Emotional Abuse – put-downs, name-calling, and other degrading comments
All-consuming possessiveness or suspicion
Treating someone poorly and then blaming them for it
The campaign encourages students, staff, and faculty to be active positive bystanders if they witness warning signs of relationship violence and sexual assault. A positive bystander has the ability to step in and talk with their friend, family member, or student about their safety and help them find resources should they need them. Warning signs or “red flags” may look like:
If you notice a red flag, you have options to help intervene!
All bystanders face a choice: Do I ignore the situation? Or do I step in and try to make things better?
You may never encounter a critical emergency. More likely, you could find yourself in everyday situations where you may notice behavior that could be disrespectful, harassing, controlling, coercive, or harmful.
You have the ability to:
Do something yourself. When one person is mistreating another verbally, physically or emotionally, speak up and step in if it is safe to do so. Politely ask someone to stop what they are doing or check in on someone that you think might need help.
Sometimes, lending a listening ear can go a long way. Tell your friend that you care and are willing to listen. Don’t force the issue, but allow your friend to confide in you at her/his own pace. Give her/him emotional support. Emphasize that s/he deserves a life that is free from violence. If your friend decides to end the relationship, help her/him make a plan to be safe.
If you do not feel comfortable stepping in yourself, ask someone for help. This could be an RA, GRD, Dean, another staff or faculty member, peer, or campus safety officer.
If you don’t want to address the situation directly, a distraction could be a good way to diffuse tension or give someone who’s uncomfortable an opportunity to exit.
Counseling Center: (704) 406-4563
University Police: (704) 406-4444
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1 (800) 656-HOPE (4673)
Mrs. Lesley VillaroseVice President of Student Development and Dean of StudentsInterim Title IX Coordinator and ADA Coordinator(704) 406-2081 | [email protected]
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 (“red flags”) for sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking in a friend’s relationship.
The Campaign is a project of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance and was created by college students, college personnel, and community victim advocates.
For more information about the national campaign click the button below.