Office of Title IX hosts series of October seminars

October is not only the month of autumn leaves and Halloween, it is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. According to research done by Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc., 57% of students who have been in an abusive relationship say that it occurred during college, and 52% of women say that they know someone who has experienced abusive dating behaviors. Yet a staggering 58% of college students don’t know how to help someone who is a victim of dating abuse, and 57% of college students say that it is difficult to identify dating abuse.

In order to combat these harrowing statistics, the Office of Title IX created four trainings on recognizing and preventing Intimate Partner Violence, though the fourth was canceled due to lack of registrations.

On Oct. 1, the training defined what Intimate Partner Violence is. On Oct. 2, the training noted tips to figure out whether one was in a healthy relationship. The third training on Oct. 16 defined and described boundaries and how to set these effectively within relationships, and the fourth training on Oct. 24, which was unfortunately canceled due to lack of registrations, was going to teach students about how to help friends affected by Intimate Partner Violence.

Shay Harger, the facilitator for these trainings and the assistant director of the Office of Title IX, remarked, “The goal of the in-person trainings is to have safe conversations about topics that concern all of us and support everyone in the community to have happy, healthy relationships.” 

She described her rationale for the length of the training, saying, “The trainings, generally, are an hour to an hour and a half in length to provide opportunity to explore the topic, discussion and learning from each other.”

The source of these training materials came from the organization Love is Respect, which began in February 2007 as a project from the National Domestic Violence Hotline as the first 24 hour violence helpline serving teens experiencing dating violence and abuse in all 50 United States and territories.

According to Love is Respect, intimate partner violence or “dating abuse” is defined as “a pattern of destructive behaviors used to assert power and control over a dating partner.” As the website notes, this does not exclude a singular incident of abuse, rather it “recognizes that dating violence usually involves a series of abusive behaviors over a course of time.”

Types of abuse include physical abuse, emotional or verbal abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, digital abuse and stalking. It is important to note that one or more types of these abuses can exist in a relationship and that intimate partner violence need not always include physical abuse to be considered as such.

Harger hopes that the Guilford College community will be actively involved with forthcoming trainings.

“I invite everyone to attend future training sessions,” Harger said. “This is important information for everyone to know and impacts us not just in college, but all throughout our life.  The trainings are advertised in The Buzz and posted flyers on campus.”

For more information about Intimate Partner Violence and these trainings, please visit the website of the organization Love is Respect at loveisrespect.org, and to learn how Office of Title IX at Guilford can serve as a resource if you or a friend is affected by Intimate Partner Violence, please contact Shay Harger at hargercs@guilford.edu.

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