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Howard University Under Blanket Of Red

 WASHINGTON -- In May, the University of Virginia was rocked by the murder of senior Yeardley Love by a fellow student.  Even more shocking than Love's tragic death was the number of fellow students who had witnessed the many incidents of abuse she had endured.  Officials at Howard University are building on efforts to increase student awareness of dating violence through an innovative public education campaign to help more students identify the red flags of abusive relationships and take action.  

Timed to coincide with October's Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Howard University is launching its Red Flag Campaignand blanketing its Northwest Washington campus with attention-getting red flags and a series of posters that underscore the warning signs, or "red flags," of abusive relationships.  Students are being urged to speak up and seek assistance when they see signs of dating violence in their friends' relationships.  

In 21 percent of all college dating relationships, one partner is being abused, and women ages 16-24 experience the highest per capita rate of intimate partner violence.

Created in 2007 by the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance with funding from the Verizon Foundation and Verizon Wireless HopeLine  program, the Red Flag Campaign now appears on more than 50 college campuses across the U.S.  

"The Yeardley Love tragedy was a wake-up call for all of us who work with young people," said Barbara Griffin, vice president for student affairs at Howard University.  "What we like so much about the Red Flag Campaign is that it challenges students to watch out for friends who may be involved in an unhealthy relationship.  Our message is: 'When you see a red flag, speak up.' "

In addition to kicking off the Red Flag Campaign, Howard University will screen "Telling Amy's Story," a documentary that Penn State Public Broadcasting produced with funding from the Verizon Foundation.  This documentary, airing on PBS stations nationwide, tells the story of Amy Homan McGee, a Verizon Wireless employee who was murdered by her estranged husband in 2001.  Howard University and Verizon also will host a panel discussion with students, community leaders, health experts and local law enforcement officials following the screening.

Mike Maiorana, regional president for Verizon Wireless in MarylandVirginia and Washington, said: "It's important for young people to know that abuse does not have to be physical to be damaging.  Emotional abuse needs to be taken just as seriously, and this campaign helps us all identify it.  We're proud to fund this award-winning, effective program, which is being embraced by colleges across the nation."  

The Red Flag Campaign was developed by college students, college personnel and community victim advocates to explore the nature of dating relationships on college campuses and to identify the hallmarks of healthy relationships versus abusive ones.  

Campaign posters, which feature young men and women who look like typical students, deal with a number of "red flags" that students should be aware of, including emotional abuse, isolation, coercion and excessive jealousy.  Three of the posters are geared toward female students, and three toward male students.  In order to heighten interest and generate more attention, the red flags will be dropped on the grounds of Howard University prior to the launch event, without warning or explanation, followed by the posters.

Howard University received a $5,000 grant from the Verizon Wireless HopeLine® program to support the campus' Red Flag Campaign.  Through HopeLine, no-longer-used wireless phones – all models, from all wireless carriers – are collected and accessories are refurbished, recycled or sold.  Proceeds benefit victims of domestic violence through grants and the donation of wireless phones and service.

Since HopeLine's recycling program was launched nationwide in 2001, Verizon Wireless has collected more than 7 million phones and awarded more than $7.9 million in cash grants.  More importantly, the program has kept more than 200 tons of electronic waste and batteries out of landfills.  Phones are accepted at Verizon Wireless stores across the nation and onHoward University's campus at the Blackburn Center.  For additional program information, visitwww.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.


About the Red Flag Campaign

The purpose of the Red Flag Campaign is to encourage students to speak up when they see red flags for dating violence in their friends' relationships.


STORY TAGS: WOMEN , MINORITY , DISCRIMINATION , DIVERSITY , FEMALE , UNDERREPRESENTED , EQUALITY , GENDER BIAS , EQUALITY



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