Today: Apr 23, 2024

VPAS teaches students about healthy relationships

Jack Abbot- General Reporter

The Violence Prevention, Victim Advocacy, and Support Center, VPAS, held an event to educate students on healthy and unhealthy relationship signs. 

The event took place in the Engleman Rotunda where students could win prizes like bracelets and candy by differentiating between healthy and unhealthy signs in a relationship.  

“Today, VPAS is holding an unhealthy and healthy relationship sign table, and the importance is to get it out there, what the unhealthy signs are,” junior nursing major Gabriella Jordan, an organizer of the event said. 

This event was held on Valentines Day to appeal to celebrating couples. The table had a board that listed several adjectives to describe a potential partner. Jordan described respect and trust as being some of the most important factors in a healthy relationship.  

On the contrary, she highlighted volatility and disrespect as bad traits to bring to a relationship. She also spoke on some of the resources offered to students on campus. 

“There’s our VPAS office, and we also collaborate with the Office of Wellbeing,” Jordan said. 

VPAS is an organization on campus that aims to educate students on abuse and violence to help make the campus a safer place. They also work with victims of sexual assault to help provide counseling. 

“They’ve actually been very helpful,” biology major Kenzie Frawley, a junior, said. “They’re equally supportive of boys and girls.” 

Knowing the signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships can be difficult for many, especially for those who grew up without a positive home environment. 

 “We think it’s important to make the unhealthy signs known,” Jordan said. 

In total, eight different relationship signs were posted. Unhealthy ones included instances of physical harm or possessiveness whereas healthy relationship signs included things such as boundaries and trust. 

“You’re at a party, and you overhear your partner saying nice things about you to his friends. Or you have the right to say no, and you don’t fear being retaliated against by your partner for saying no,” junior Special Education major Taylor Wasilewski said. 

While recognizing abuse signs in your own relationship is difficult, it can often be just as challenging to handle a situation in which a friend or family member is suffering from abuse. Jordan suggested approaching it with someone in a kind manner. 

“Make sure you’re not coming at them in an ‘attacking’ way,” Jordan said. “Are you happy? Are you comfortable with what’s going on?” 

Currently, all students taking courses at the university are required to take the “Not Anymore Title IX” course on a yearly basis. This course helps to educate students on the signs of abuse and manipulation on a campus setting. It also highlights the experiences of previous victims to educate on different sources of abuse.  

“There’s a lot that goes unsaid, and it’s hard to navigate certain situations considering how serious it might be,” Frawley said. 

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