Story by Bryanna Weinstein/Contributing Writer
The June Anderson Center hosted a workshop titled “First Date: Soulmate or Nah,” at the MTSU Student Union on Wednesday, teaching students what a healthy relationship should look and feel like.
Students first watched a 30 minute film made by One Love Association entitled “Escalation”, which followed Chase and Paige, two college students. It chronicles the beginning of their relationship until its tragic end, which sees Paige lose her life to her boyfriend.
Even from the beginning, signs that things were not ok were littered throughout their relationship. Chase becomes controlling and manipulative, demanding to know where Paige is and isolating her from her friends. None of their friends intervene until it is too late, resulting in Chase murdering Paige all in the name of his love for her.
This film hits especially hard with the recent news that cases of domestic violence and stalking being reported on campus more frequently than normal.
The One Love Association, who are not affiliated with MTSU, was founded after the brutal 2010 case of Yeardley Love, a University of Virgina student who was murdered by her abusive ex-boyfriend. They now hope to educate students, faculty and anyone else about what they can do to help someone in situations like the one Yeardley faced in real life and the one Paige faced in the film.
The discussion after the film started by asking students in attendance about Chase, how he acted and if anyone noticed the signs in the beginning of the relationship. Everyone easily picked up on it.
But many times, people don’t. Even the detective in the film states to himself and another detective, “They just didn’t know what they were seeing.”
That is the case for most involved in relationships like this. Paige didn’t recognize the signs of a bad relationship until it was too late. The same could be said for their friends. But, what can they do or anyone do to help someone in situations like this?
Facilitator Disha Trivedi offered a few tools to students who have friends or even family in situations like this. One of those tools was to approach the person positively, rather than make them defensive about their personal life and relationships. Another tool that could be utilized is keeping constant contact with the person, ensuring they are okay or checking if they need help. It is hard for many people to come forward and ask for help, but even the small things can make a difference in the long run for those who need help in unhealthy relationships.
Students interested in further training can also attend their bystander intervention training on October 23 and 24.
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