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Advocates wave red flag over dating violence





In an effort to raise awareness of dating violence, Fort Hays State University organizations will host a kick-off event for October's Red Flag Campaign at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the FHSU Memorial Union.

Slated for the evening are speakers George Jackson, FHSU director of diversity affairs, and Marilyn Ray, member of the Governor's Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board. In addition, a premier presentation of "That's Not Love," a film created by the FHSU Fringe Theatre Co. and Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning Technologies, will demonstrate the reality of dating violence, regardless of one's ethnicity, orientation or social standing. The film was written by Shley Snider, an FHSU graduate student.

The Red Flag Campaign is in its second year on the FHSU campus, and will be observed throughout October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The campaign features posters displayed throughout the FHSU campus illustrating "red flags" in dating relationships, according to event organizer Jessie Zhai.

"Last year, it was mainly the Women's Leadership Project that sponsored the Red Flag Campaign," Zhai said. "But this year, there are so many entities at Fort Hays who are fired up, and we collaborated together."

Changing cultural tolerance of violence in dating relationships can be achieved by students working together, said Christie Brungardt, Director of the Women's Leadership Project.

"Peer groups can provide safety and support and have the ability to dictate what behaviors are unacceptable," she said. "The FHSU Kelly Center and Options Domestic and Sexual Violence Services are good places to get more information on helping a friend you think is experiencing dating violence."

In further recognition of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, an educational program providing workshops for advocates, victims and individuals working in the criminal justice system is scheduled on the FHSU campus Oct. 18 and 19. The summit is sponsored by Jana's Campaign to Stop Domestic Violence, Options, Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, the Kansas Attorney General's office and other organizations.

More information is available at janascampaign.org.