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“Red Flags” Fly at Virginia Colleges

October 15, 2007

Richmond, VA – Red flags are being raised on college campuses to encourage students to call a "foul" when they see friends in abusive relationships. The "red flag" campaign encourages students to identify abusive behavior and let friends know it's unacceptable.

Kate McCord with the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance says research shows one in five college students encounters dating or relationship violence. She explains that friends usually want to watch out for each other, and the "red flag" campaign helps them find the right words to describe behavior that looks and feels wrong.

"College is a perfect time to teach younger adults what is healthy, versus what is not healthy. Help people name what is abusive and identify it as destructive, or criminal; and also, for friends to identify it and to intervene."

McCord says the campaign helps people identify the many different types of relationship abuse such as coercion, isolation, stalking, extreme jealousy, emotional abuse and assault.

More information is available online at

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - VA