Red Flag Campaign

The Red Flag Campaign is a public awareness campaign that addresses dating violence and sexual assault on college campuses. The campaign uses a positive strategy to help promote healthy relationships. That is, the focus is on bystander intervention. It encourages people to "say something" if they see "red flags" or warning signs of abuse, or sexual violence in friend's relationships.

Many times people want to "stay out of it" or "ignore" abusive behavior. The University of Minnesota Morris wants people to stand up against all forms of violence.

The poster series features "Red Flags" with scenarios and issues that might be present in a relationship with dating violence. The themes included, Coercion, Emotional abuse, Sexual assault, victim-blaming, excessive jealousy, isolation and stalking.

Red Flag Campaign Background

The Red Flag Campaign uses a bystander intervention strategy to address and prevent sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking on college campuses. The campaign encourages friends and other campus community members to say something when they see warning signs ("red flags") for sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking in a friend’s relationship.

The Campaign is a project of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, and was created by college students, college personnel, and community victim advocates.

Learn more about the national campaign

Relationship Violence & Sexual Assault

  • 1 in 4 or 5 women and 1 in 20 men will experience attempted or completed sexual assault during their time in college
  • 1 in 3 relationships have some aspect of abuse present
  • 47% of transgender and non-binary people experience sexual violence during their lifetime, and 78% experience harassment
  • 18-24 year-olds experience the highest rates of sexual assault and interpersonal violence
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 13 men will experience stalking during their lifetime
  • Two-thirds of women who experienced stalking were stalked by current or former intimate partners

Warning Signs

The campaign encourages students, staff, and faculty to be active positive bystanders if they witness warning signs of relationship violence and sexual assault. A positive bystander has the ability to step in and talk with their friend, family member, or student about their safety and help
them find resources should they need them. Warning signs or “red flags” may look like:

  • Insults or derogatory language used against a partner
  • Controlling behaviors
  • Jealousy
  • Monitoring social media
  • Isolating their partner from family or friends
  • Controlling finances
  • Bruises or other injuries
  • Withdrawal from usual activities

Sexual Assault Red Flags

  • Attempts to separate someone from their friends and get them alone
  • Pressuring someone to drink excessively
  • Use of date-rape drugs
  • Pushing physical boundaries
  • Signs of incapacitation
  • Use of pressure, guilt, or coercion
  • Bruises or other injuries

You’ve Noticed Red Flags. Now What?

If you notice a red flag, you have options to help intervene!

All bystanders face a choice: Do I *ignore* the situation? Or do I *step in and try* to make things better?

You may never encounter a critical emergency. More likely, you could find yourself in *everyday situations* where you may notice behavior that could be disrespectful, harassing, controlling, coercive, or harmful.

You have the ability to:

  • stop a situation from escalating
  • help someone that could be at risk
  • prevent someone from making a decision that could harm themselves or another person

Speak About It Flagship Show

Starting in Fall, 2021, Speak About It will be embedded into our First Year Experience course. Speak About It offers innovative, performance-based prevention education that aims to 1) promote healthy sexuality and relationships, 2) inform students about the realities of sexual assault, 3)
provide tangible strategies for bystander intervention, and 4) connect audience members to campus and community resources relevant to sexual violence prevention, response, and education. The group is a nonprofit organization that partners with high schools and colleges and uses entertaining and educational performances and programs to empower students to prevent sexual violence, advocate for and practice healthy relationship habits, and create positive change within their communities.

Speak About It is a performance-based presentation about consent, boundaries and healthy relationships intended for a mature high school or college audience. Using a combination of humorous yet provocative skits, interactive dialogue, and powerful monologues written by real college students, Speak About It covers a broad range of key topics in prevention education, including: consent, sexual assault, and bystander intervention.

Each of the educators in the five-person show undergoes sexual assault response training and speaks passionately, onstage and off, about the importance of taking an active role in ending sexual violence. Speak About It is the wisdom of an array of mistakes, misfortunes, successes, and perspectives; a compilation of true stories that captures what healthy sex can and should look like, and how to spark dialogues about it.

Learn More