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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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In their shoes

Stories+of+real+sexual+assault+victims+were+shared+around+the+room.
Photo by Photo by Madeline Sambrano

Stories of real sexual assault victims were shared around the room.

Students had the opportunity to examine true stories of dating violence Wednesday night, looking at the issue from a more personal perspective to understand how it can be recognized and prevented.
“In Their Shoes,” an interactive program hosted by the Consensual Language, Education, Awareness, and Relationships office, had students take on the role of an abuse victim in order to learn about red flags in relationships. The event took place at the Memorial Student Center and was facilitated by Dmitri Westbrook, assistant coordinator of CLEAR.
Westbrook said the event was important because research indicates that many college students will be exposed to dating violence throughout their lifetimes. In fact, 43% of college women report experiencing abusive dating behaviors, according to LoveIsRespect, a project of the National Domestic Abuse Hotline.
“We do need to take action,” Westbrook said. “This event is about recognizing and finding red flags of potential abuse in relationships and how to go about handling these situations if someone chooses to disclose them.”
The Title IX Coordinator for Texas A&M, Jennifer Smith, participated in the simulation. Smith said that it was important for students to attend similar events and learn how to spot warning signs.
“This is a great chance for our students to think a little bit more about discrimination, harassment and the difference that they can make in the lives of a friend or family member who is experiencing dating violence,” Smith said. “It’s a great opportunity to become more aware of the red flags that happen in relationships and the role that they can play in order to avoid violence.”
Smith said many offices on campus are dedicated to solving the issue of dating violence, including her own.
“Students with questions about this topic or any other intimate partner violence can reach out to their Title IX officer,” Smith said. “My office has a lot of information and resources. There are a lot of people and organizations on campus that are dedicated to working on the problem of domestic and dating violence.”
Tayler Fleming, a telecommunications sophomore, said she learned many lessons at the event, including that simply saying hello can make a difference in someone’s life.
“I learned that you should always reach out to others,” Fleming said. “You never know what they’re going through, and they might need someone.”
Fleming said that the event made her think about the way she interacts with her friends and their significant others.
“[In the future], I will pay attention to the relationships that my friends are in and look out for red flags,” Fleming said.
Westbrook said he wants the student body to become more aware of the resources available for confronting dating violence.
“If people need a resource on different ways of getting prevention education, they can reach out to CLEAR,” Westbrook said. “We have presentations, events and resources available on campus to help educate others.”
For more information about dating violence resources, visit the CLEAR webpage at clear.tamu.edu.

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  • Students participated in activities that gave insight on what happens in a sexual assault, and what could be prevented.

    Photo by Photo by Madeline Sambrano
  • “Step in. Stand up.” is a campaign that brings awareness about sexual assault to the Texas A&M campus.

    Photo by Photo by Madeline Sambrano
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