The first monthly meeting presentation of Spring 2020 semester was a presentation from Ashley Lillie, Assistant Director of Student Outreach and Support, and Chris Morrin, Sexual Misconduct Prevention Specialist, on how to identify and intervene in dangerous or abusive situations.
Red flags that may indicate unhealthy or abusive relationships include comments that put you down; invading privacy; sexual pressures; jealousy, insecurity, and controlling; isolating from friends and/or family; and physical and/or mental harm. Healthy relationships have equality and compromise. Unhealthy relationships have attempts at control, little trust, and partners will have a hard time sharing feelings. Abusive relationships are based on control, are harmful, and have no communication or trust.
After seeing any of these signs, there are three options to intervene: “direct, distract, delegate.” An example situation for applying these strategies can be a party where you see someone trying to take advantage of someone else. A “direct” approach could be to go up to the person experiencing the harm and interrupt and pretend to start a conversation. A “distract” approach could be to have someone distract the person doing the harm with a conversation so someone else has time to pull the person experiencing harm away. A “delegate” approach would be to find the friends of the person experiencing the harm or the people who are throwing the party and letting them know so that they can handle the issue.
Lillie and Morrin acknowledged the barriers there can be to interveing but emphasized that everyone doing something once can contribute to a larger, safe culture on campus.
Support and further resources on sexual misconduct and assault can be found at sju.edu/support