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Kerry-Ann Hamilton
Media Relations Manager
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Howard University Launches ‘Red Flag Campaign’
to Educate Students on the Warning Signs of Dating Violence



Howard University and Verizon launched the Red Flag Campaign on Oct. 1. The upper quadrangle of Howard's main campus was blanketed with red flags to help raise awareness about domestic violence and urge students to take action when they see friends in abusive relationships. (Justin D. Knight/HU Communications)

WASHINGTON (Oct. 1, 2010) – Howard University has teamed up with the Verizon Foundation and Verizon Wireless to alert students to the warning signs of dating violence and to encourage students to speak up when they see friends in abusive relationships.

As a kick-off for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Howard University will launch its Red Flag Campaign today dropping small red flags with key messages on the grounds of the college campus and placing posters that help educate students about dating violence in prime locations on the campus as well.

"The Yeardley Love tragedy was a wake-up call for all of us who work with young people," said Barbara Griffin, Ph.D., vice president for student affairs at Howard University. "What we like so much about the Red Flag Campaign is that it challenges students to watch out for friends who may be involved in an unhealthy relationship. Our message is: 'When you see a red flag, speak up.' "

According to a U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics report, women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rates of domestic violence. Some ‘red flags’ of abusive relationships include emotional abuse, excessive jealousy, isolation, victim blaming, coercion, sexual assault and stalking.

Mike Maiorana, regional president for Verizon Wireless in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, said: “It’s important for young people to know that abuse does not have to be physical to be damaging. Emotional abuse needs to be taken just as seriously, and this campaign helps us all identify it. We’re proud to fund this award-winning, effective program, which is being embraced by colleges across the nation.”

In addition to its Red Flag Campaign, Howard will join Verizon and Verizon Wireless in a special on-campus screening of “Telling Amy’s Story,” a PBS documentary that Penn State Public Broadcasting produced with funding from the Verizon Foundation. The documentary, which airs nationwide, chronicles the life of Amy Homan McGee, a Verizon Wireless employee killed in 2001 by her estranged husband.

Students then will participate in an interactive panel discussion on the topic of domestic and dating violence with community, health and law enforcement experts.

The Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance created the Red Flag Campaign in 2007 with funding from the Verizon Foundation and Verizon Wireless HopeLine ® program. The campaign now appears on over 50 college campuses across the country.

Howard University received a $5,000 grant from the Verizon Wireless HopeLine® program to support the campus’ Red Flag Campaign. Through HopeLine, no-longer-used wireless phones – all models, from all wireless carriers – are collected and accessories are refurbished, recycled or sold. Proceeds benefit victims of domestic violence through grants and the donation of wireless phones and service.

Since HopeLine’s recycling program was launched nationwide in 2001, Verizon Wireless has collected more than 7 million phones and awarded more than $7.9 million in cash grants. More importantly, the program has kept more than 200 tons of electronic waste and batteries out of landfills. Phones are accepted at Verizon Wireless stores across the nation and on Howard University’s campus at the Blackburn Center. For additional program information, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.

To increase awareness of dating violence and Howard’s Red Flag Campaign, WHUT-TV will air “Telling Amy’s Story” on Oct. 17 at 8 p.m.; Oct. 19 at 9 p.m.; and Oct. 23 at 10 p.m. The trailer can be viewed at http://telling.psu.edu/.

For more information on the Red Flag Campaign, visit www.TheRedFlagCampaign.org.


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DeAnne Bradley, media relations intern, contributed to this release.

 

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