Robert Morris starts new partnership to end dating violence

Photo+credit%3A+Paul+Wintruba

Photo credit: Paul Wintruba

Sarah Applegarth

Robert Morris University has entered into a special partnership in an effort to make campus a safer place to be. RMU has begun a partnership with the One Love Foundation, an organization aimed to stop dating violence, in an attempt to educate students about the dangers of dating abuse.

Robert Morris and the One Love Foundation have been paired since December, said Yasmin Purohit, RMU’s Title IX coordinator. Purohit’s goal is to target influential student groups on campus including sports teams and Greek life organizations. She believes that by targeting the university’s leaders the One Love message will quickly spread throughout campus.

The One Love Foundation was founded in 2012 to commemorate the life of Yeardley Love who was tragically beaten to death by her ex- boyfriend in 2010. Yeardley’s mom, Sharon Love, created the foundation to prevent what happened to her daughter from happening to other students across the country.

According to their website, One Love’s goal is to bring awareness to the commonality of dating violence and explain what dating violence is, in order to stop it before it even starts. Sharon Loves goal is “to do what MADD did for drinking and driving: stigmatize the behavior and get bystanders to take away the keys.” One Love’s intent is to meet young people where they already are: online and on campus.

Last Wednesday, One Love held its first event on campus called “Escalation,” which included a short film that portrayed an abusive relationship between two college students to illustrate the warning signs and red flags associated with dating violence. After the film, a discussion was held to talk about reactions to the film and also to inform students on what they can do to identify it and stop dating abuse.

Junior pre-med student and Executive Vice President of Sigma Kappa Anna Thaman thought that the session was “eye- opening, well organized and informative.”

“The video shows the subtle signs (of dating violence) we generally overlook,” she said. “It focuses on how to spot the signs of abuse and how to help a friend who is in an abusive relationship.”

The One Love Foundation’s website also offers resources to those who are being abused or think they know someone who is. The website offers live chats, text message service, and the opportunity to talk with peer advocates at another website committed to ending dating violence called Loveisrespect.org. They also provide a link to the National Domestic Abuse Hotline.