Students attend local workshop on relationship violence

Hannah Norton, News Editor

“Ninety-four percent of adults in the US will never perpetrate violence against their partner, yet 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience relationship violence within their lifetime,” reads the One Love Foundation’s website.
“This statistic tells us that between you and two of your friends, one of you is likely to be abused–and that terrifies me,” senior Logan Allan said. “I looked at my friends and wondered, ‘Which one of you will it be? Which one of you will I have to call 911 for; whose funeral will I have to arrive at?’”
On February 13, Allan, senior Alexis Serna, and counselor Vicki Kenney attended a relationship violence prevention workshop, put on by the One Love Foundation and the Seahawks Women’s Association.
The workshop, titled “Escalation,” begins with a 40-minute video that shows a seemingly normal college couple as they go through the stages of their relationship, which ends with abuse. After the video, students are split up into two groups to discuss the video, its effects, and how to stand up against dating violence.
The One Love Foundation was created in honor of the late Yeardley Love. The University of Virginia senior and lacrosse player was beaten to death by her then ex-boyfriend on May 3, 2010, and the foundation assembled soon after.
“Unhealthy and abusive relationships often progress slowly and build in such a way that people are caught off guard, making it hard to recognize, accept, and escape the circumstances,” Kenney said.
For Allan, the relationship depicted in the ‘Escalation’ film hit very close to home.
“I am very close with someone who has recently gotten out of an extremely abusive relationship,” Allan said. “When you see someone go through that, you just want to know what you can do to keep it from happening again, to anyone else.”
For students like Serna, the film opened their eyes, giving them unprecedented insight about just how common relationship violence can be.
“I feel like a lot of us don’t realize that some of the relationships we see every single day aren’t healthy,” Serna said. “There are some people as young as 16 who have been affected by this, and it was incredibly impactful to see that.”
“We kind of put relationship violence on the back burner, especially in school,” Serna said. “We think that it’s not ever going to happen to us, or anyone we know, so we don’t realize how prevalent this issue really is.”