Fort Hays State and the Red Flag Campaign

By Sarah Jarmer

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and Fort Hays State University’s sixth year as participants of The Red Flag Campaign. This campaign is led by the Women’s Leadership Project, supporting the raising awareness for gender-based violence. A variety of events around campus throughout this month. The campaign has “bystander interventions” and encourages people within the campus community to “say something” when they see “red flags” in the relationships of those around them.

There are eight posters associated with The Red Flag Campaign that illustrate the different “red flags” that may be seen within a relationship involving dating violence. The themes present with these flags are coercion, emotional abuse, sexual assault, victim-blaming, excessive jealousy, isolation, and stalking. The posters also provide appropriate suggestions on how to handle each of the situations.

Other events included in The Red Flag Campaign are the Clothesline Project, a domestic violence awareness 5K, a men’s soccer game, a volleyball game, and a Silence No More campus walk. These posters, as well as a more detailed calendar of events regarding the campaign, can be found at Forsyth library and other varying locations around campus.

The Red Flag Campaign hopes to encourage students to become active bystanders. The term bystander is defined as someone who is present in a situation and chooses not to react or get involved. An active bystander, however, is someone who is aware of an abusive situation and chooses to speak up or do something without putting their own safety at risk. Members of the Women’s Leadership Project provide the following ways to be an active bystander:

● Educating yourself about healthy relationships and warning signs of abuse
● Learn more about gender equality
● Talk to your friends about healthy relationships and the dangers of abuse
● Be supportive and patient of a friend in an abusive relationship
● Host an event at your school or in your community that raises awareness about dating violence

Fort Hays will be hosting a Bystander Intervention Training on October 15th from 1:00-4:00 p.m. in the Black and Gold Room. Advanced registration is required.
A survey conducted by the Association of American Universities regarding sexual assault and sexual misconduct brought about the following statistics. Here are the some of the major findings:

● Over the course of their college life, 27.2% of senior females reported being victimized, with the highest risk being freshman women.
● Over the course of their college life, 5.4%of male undergraduate students reported being victimized.
● Rates of assault were highest among students who identified as transgender, non-conforming, or questioning.
● Six out of 10 female undergraduates said they had been sexually harassed, a category separate from sexual contact.
● LGBT students reported sexual harassment rates of 60.4% compared with 45.9% of heterosexuals.

The target purpose of The Red Flag Campaign is to inform students of the dangers that come with gender-based violence, as well as to encourage them to speak out when they see “red flags” in the relationships around them. For more information regarding The Red Flag Campaign please visit Red Flag Campaign-FHSU or check out FHSU Women’s Leadership Project.


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