People nationwide are preparing for October’s month of domestic violence awareness. Students and staff gathered Friday, Oct. 5 to discuss potential ways to prevent domestic violence. Students also created an art project with red flag banners that were displayed in the Campus Center. The red flag banners on the front had red flag warnings in dating behavior like; disrespecting, controlling and guilt tripping. On the back, they showed a healthy relationship by using words like; loyalty, respect and freedom. At a second meeting on Oct. 9, students and staff wrote positive journal entries about personal boundaries and expectations from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Oct. 10th, from 2p.m. to 4p.m. the student center displayed last year’s red flag creations.

Walking into the the welcoming campus center this Tuesday, last year’s and this year’s hand and red flag creations were displayed in the showcase straight ahead. Getting a closer look, the phrases written by each student gave insights and advice that encouraged peace and kindness. On the hands, were five things that would construct a healthy relationship. One good example would include; listen, help, understand, care and support. All of the art pieces have different pointers to help viewers visualize the many levels of domestic violence to be aware of, while also showing how much good there can be in a relationship.

Advisor of the domestic violence support group, Veronica Joyce, says that being truthful is an important role in a healthy relationship, but warns students to watch out for abusive personalities that are common. “One big red flag is jealousy. It’s something internal, and it does not just go away,” she said. She also advised to avoid trying to fix someone who has an internal problem because it is their own personal issue that can only be secured by themselves.

Data collections from the National Crime Victimization Surveys (NCVS) are trusted sources of information regarding criminal victimization. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, data from 2016 reveals that out of 135,000 households surveyed, over 225,000 people were victims of domestic violence in its many different forms. Whether it was physical, emotional, psychological, or sexual abuse. Although the measures of domestic violence can vary, the act of one partner demanding power over another is one clear indication that someone is abusive.

Constructing events like these have the potential of helping many people identify their struggles whether they’re visible or not. No matter what the situation is, there is a solution and a way out. If you, or anyone you know are victims of domestic violence, don’t be afraid to involve yourself in Veronica Joyce’s domestic violence support group. Not comfortable talking in person? Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline with 24/7 help: 1-800-799-7233(SAFE). With more information to come, several art projects will be taking place in the campus center throughout the rest of the year.