This piece was written for “The Towerlight” at Towson University as a Staff Writer. Check out this, and other stories from The Towerlight here:
During an Oct. 7 tabling event, wellness peer educators from the Health Center placed 6,677 purple flags on the Cook Library beach to represent the number of students at Towson that will be affected by relationship violence during their time in college.
“I feel like many students don’t know the signs, so that’s the first thing we’re trying to do,” Wellness Peer Educator Charnell Mercer said. “We really want to inform students… I think it’s important because the statistics say one in three women will be abused – mentally, physically – that’s all kinds of abuse.”
Wellness peer educators from the health center held various events for Relationship Violence Awareness Month during the week of Oct. 3-7 to inform students on relationship violence and prevention. Peer educators had stations explaining Title IX, information on bystander awareness and safety planning.
Other stations included writing “love letters” to someone who had experienced something bad in a relationship, and writing down red flags of an unhealthy relationship on red flags made of red construction paper.
Two of the red flags said “partner isolates you from your family and friends,” and “blames you for their mental health issues.”
The wellness peer educators also took the contact information of those who wanted to get more information about their drive for House of Ruth, a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive services to the victims of intimate partner violence and their children, according to their website.
As a part of the health center’s “X-Out Relationship Violence” campaign, the wellness peer educators also sponsored a mile long “Love Walk” on Oct. 3 to help raise awareness about relationship violence.
In addition, they also helped to promote the “I Love Female Orgasm” event sponsored by the University Residence Government that educated students on sexual health.
Sexual Violence Prevention Educator Kailah Carden encourages students to utilize Towson’s resources as they need them.
“We have the Office of Institutional Equity that can provide resources and accommodations to students as they need,” Carden said. “You can contact them directly at towson.edu/xoutsexualviolence.”
Students can also report sexual violence through that website.
If caught in a situation regarding relationship violence, students can call the Counseling Center at 410-704-2512 or visit at 8000 York Road. If someone’s safety is in immediate danger or may need emergency medical help, students should call campus police or 911.