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‘Slap in The Face’ program raises unhealthy relationship awareness


To make a loving relationship work, according to students at Southern Connecticut State University like junior Brian Thompson, it involves dedication, respect and trust; not every couple follows these elements.

The “Slap in The Face” program is a workshop held at SCSU that allows women and men to discuss what defines a healthy and unhealthy relationship while opening up to one another at the same time.

“From my experiences,” said Thompson, who did not attend the program, “I have noticed that a healthy relationship all trickles down to trust. Trust is like the seed of a relationship that allows all other factors to grow from it.”

The “Slap in The Face” program, which was held Monday, Sept. 19 at Farnham Hall, was led by Amnesty Student Area Coordinator Ebony McClease. She said in order to maintain a healthy relationship, four components are needed: respect, honesty, communication and trust.

“If any one of these particular pieces is missing then I truly believe that a relationship can never be healthy,” said McClease. “Over time, trusting and respecting your partner will be necessary for a healthy relationship and has to be earned.”

The program encouraged discussions, questions and comments on what to expect in a healthy relationship and more importantly, what warning signs to look out for even in a seemingly “normal” relationship.

“Students raised very good questions about what is considered abuse and sometimes the actions that we never consider to be abuse even when they are,” said McClease.

Though the students who were present at the program raised good questions and comments, according to McClease, other SCSU students, like public health major Kathleen Bradley, had their own point of view on the subject.

“If feelings, wants and needs are not expressed then the tension and anger will just build up until one or both parties explode,” said Bradley. “What makes a healthy relationship is communication; without communication, you don’t have a relationship.”

According to the University of Washington, all relationships ranging from acquaintances to romances have the potential to enrich lives and add enjoyment; however, these same relationships can cause discomfort and sometimes even cause harm if one partner senses a red flag in the relationship and does not pursue it.

“Someone I know who had a bad relationship is in fact still in that relationship right now,” said Thompson. “The relationship involves verbal abuse, and the reason for not seeking help is that this person has too much love for her boyfriend. Why let yourself get beat up mentally because you love somebody who may not love you back?”

“I think that in discussing what is healthy or unhealthy,” said McClease, “we have raised awareness of the red flags in an unhealthy relationship. It is extremely important to remember that no relationship is perfect, but there is no excuse for abuse.”

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