College campus dating violence
Ed Suriano, a senior linebacker at State University of New York in Brockport, was a freshman in September 2012, when Alexandra Kogut, a freshman swimmer at the school, was beaten to death by her boyfriend in her dorm room.
The team heard about her death over breakfast on game day that weekend. I'll never forget it.” Suriano and Kogut had recently partnered on a project, and had met up multiple times in the library in the first three weeks of the semester.
Several observed that campus culture has to be open to combating sexual assault and dating violence.
Others raised the issue of intersectionality and making sure that vulnerable populations who are disproportionately affected by these issues have adequate resources.
In the past two years, the United States has made enormous progress in addressing campus sexual assault, but many campuses are missing a part of the equation: dating violence and healthy relationships need to be a bigger part of the conversation at colleges and universities.
On Friday, July 17, university administrators and student activists from across the District of Columbia gathered at Georgetown University for “A Conversation with Katie Ray-Jones, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline” to discuss how schools in DC are already addressing dating violence and sexual assault, what steps still need to be taken and how The Hotline and loveisrespect can be better resources for college campuses.
They participated in the One Love Foundation’s Escalation Workshop.
Each person answered the question in a different way; however, one trend rose to the surface.
According to Jaklyn Van Manen, manager of Campus Campaigns for One Love, the ultimate goal is “to end relationship abuse by educating young people about really healthy and unhealthy relationship behaviors and empowering them to be leaders in their communities.” The warning signs for dating violence can be hard to spot because they start off small, happen in private, and troubling behavior is often covered up or dismissed.
Some of these signs include a person who gets jealous of a partner spending time with other people and isolates her from family and friends; insulting a partner, calling her names, telling her what to wear, monitoring her social media or reading her email without permission.
Each school has chosen a day between April 20 and April 30 to complete the goal. Taylor O’Halloran, a golfer at SUNY Cortland, helped bring escalation workshops to campus.
“We made it mandatory for all the athletes,” she says. “I had teammates text me saying, ‘Thank you for doing this because it really does mean a lot and I’ve experienced it myself.’ ” “Student athletes are leaders on campus,” Suriano says.
Following her remarks, she moderated a panel with nine students from across the District, giving them a chance to provide feedback about their experiences as student activists working on the issues of dating violence and sexual assault.