Red Flag Campaign raises awareness

by Chelsea Winegard


Cody, prevention coordinator with the Iowa Coalition Against

Domestic Violence, came to Simpson to educate students on the

dangers of unhealthy relationships on Nov. 10.


Women’s Resource Center (WRC), Sexual Assault Resource Advocates

(SARA) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and

Allies (LGBTQA) hosted Cody for the Red Flag Campaign.


Red Flag Campaign is an educational campaign to raise awareness

about what unhealthy or abusive relationships look like,” sophomore

Lauren Pass said.


forum was designed to give students awareness of what domestic

violence is and how to determine what an abusive relationship looks



goal is to get friends to notice warning signs or ‘red flags’ of

abusive relationships and be able to talk about those with their

friends when they see it,” Pass said. “Either their friends are

being abused or being abusive.”


came to Simpson to educate students on domestic violence and how to

deal with it.


gave the students background information on domestic violence to

give everyone enough contexts to distinguish between healthy and

unhealthy relationships.


bad behavior, bad behavior,” Cody said. “When something becomes

cyclical, when it happens a lot or is reused as a tactic to gain

leverage over and over to get your partner to do something that you

want and they don’t; that’s domestic violence.”


people think that domestic violence is black and white, but Cody

said there are a lot of myths about the topic.


times I have heard women say, ‘well he only hits me when he’s

drunk,’” Cody said. “Or, ‘I was drinking. I was dumb. He was

drinking; he didn’t know what he was doing.’”

According to Cody’s presentation, people commonly think that it is

caused by substance abuse, mental illness, history of child abuse,

anger, stress and so on.


are myths that let people believe that if these particular

behaviors are avoided then domestic violence won’t be



make myths as a community because they make us feel safer,” Cody

said. “We think that we’re safe and we don’t have to deal with it

because it’s over there.”


pointed out described that people who are involved in abusive

relationships often find it hard to leave the partner who enforcing

the abuse.

However, relationships do not start out violent—relationships grow

to become violent.

“Everybody starts off in a honeymoon phase,” Cody said. “Everybody

thinks they’re the best person and they are so lucky that they met

them, from the get go. The first few dates, the first few years

might be fantastic. Nobody falls in love with someone who



led the audience in an activity to illustrate her points.


students were told to write down five things that are most

important to them in life. She then provided them with different


“Think if there is something on that list that you would give up,”

Cody said. “You either have to give it up or you have to deal with

being called names every day for the rest of your life by your

partner, degrading names.”


scenarios continued with the consequences of being threatened,

pushed around and shoved against a wall, being beaten horribly to

the point of always being hurt and lastly dying from being


“They’re willing to take name calling, they’re willing to take the

occasional shove and they’re even willing to take the occasional

trip to the hospital,” Cody said. “Just as long as those things in

their life stay safe and stay sound.”


then provided the lyrics to a familiar song, “Love the Way You Lie”

by Eminem and Rihanna.


students were asked to use the information just learned to pick out

instances of domestic violence.


were surprised at the lyrics.


didn’t actually realize it as I’m singing the song to myself half

the time that it was talking about that kind of violence,”

sophomore Carrie Paglia said. “I didn’t think about that before,

and now I do.”


Red Flag Campaign looks to end domestic violence and prevention is

one place to start.


idea of prevention is, before anything happens, we want to talk to

people about what’s healthy and what’s not,” Cody said.