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University raises red flag on dating violence

WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - Sometimes the signs are there, but you just have to be brave enough to speak  up. That's the message behind the little red flags scattered throughout the Wilkes University campus.

"As many as 1 in 5 college students undergo some kind of violence during their time in college. So, we wanted to bring a campaign to campus that shows what those red flags are," said Samantha Hart, the Wilkes Title IX coordinator.

Experts say some of those red flags are isolation, emotional abuse, stalking and sexual assault.
    
"We want our students to step in at that point before it becomes full on physical abuse," said Hart.

The flags heightened curiosity around campus. Some had no idea what they represented. For others, it hit close to home. Sometimes the signs of abuse, are not so obvious. Through a series of events this week, organizers are giving student the tools they need to recognize them and safely intervene. Some students say they've  been in that position.

"If she didn't respond within five seconds to a text message, it created a big problem. It was a fight. It was one of those things where I had to look at her and say, 'Is this normal?'" said Senior Shyann Barrett.

Educators say sometimes all it takes is a trustworthy friend to ask the question to put an end to dating violence.


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