Queen’s University in Ontario has recently announced a new campaign to bring awareness to dating violence and abuse. The program, called the Red Flag Campaign, is a weeklong event that occurs yearly on Queen’s campus.
The Campaign uses what is called a “bystander approach” to help prevent dating violence and sexual abuse among university students. The program focuses on presenting scenarios that students may encounter in relationships, including being able to identify any red flags of an abusive relationship. Abusive relationships include forms of mistreatment such as physical, emotional, financial, or sexual abuse.
The goal of bystander programs is to train individuals to become aware of situations that may be inappropriate and then intervene in a positive way. The bystander program is a student-led initiative that works in partnership with the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Services in the Human Rights and Equity Office.
Studies have shown that raising awareness of sexual violence across universities can lead to drops in sexual violence and abuse rates. A survey on the Queen’s campus found that over 50% of respondents thought that sexual assault and violence were an issue on campus.