In 2006 I partnered with Dupont Circle Communications to create The Red Flag Campaign a public awareness campaign to address college dating violence for the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance. The campaign, which was initially supposed to run on only a limited number of Virginia college campuses, was so well received that it was expanded to the entire state and also offered nationwide. This year the entire campaign has been revamped with new models and updated language and offered alongside the original posters so that campuses can choose images that most accurately reflect their student bodies.
The posters, which focus on bystander intervention, help college-aged people recognize and respond when their friends are experiencing or perpetrating dating violence. Seven types of situations are defined: Emotional Abuse, Victim-Blaming, Excessive Jealousy, Isolation, Sexual Assault, Coercion, and Staking; and are paired with real-world examples and suggested responses. Focus groups were used to create authentic language and all of the posters include an area at the bottom for local crisis hotlines or other resources to be added. The reverse side of the posters features additional information about the signs of health and unhealthy relationships and are meant to be posted in places where people would have extended time to read them. The campaign posters are coupled with events on campus as well as a guerrilla pre-campaign of actual physical red flags. Surveys on campuses that ran the entire campaign routinely showed measurable increases in awareness of dating violence. More information can be found on the official campaign website HERE.