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Relationship wellness stressed

Student Health Services hosts week to teach about healthy relationships

staff writer

Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 23:02

healthy relationships

Madeline Payne photo

Relationship and Sexual Awareness Week was organized to teach students about the importance of knowing the signs of unhealthy relationships and how to build healthy ones.

Love may be in the air this time of year, but not everyone knows what to do with it. Healthy Relationships and Sexual Responsibility Week, hosted by USU Student Health Services, aims to educate students about these issues.

“This time of year, most people reflect on the relationships they have or want to have,” said Ryan Barfuss, USU prevention specialist, who was in charge of the event.

“We want students to have the information they need to be safe and help them discover and create those relationships that last forever,” he said.

He said this applies whether they are married, single, looking or not.

The main event of the week was held Tuesday in the TSC International Lounge. Various tables were set up with displays, and an expert panel answered relationship questions.

One table hosted a raffle for date packages including dinner and Cache Valley Fun Park tickets, funded by the donations of local businesses. Another was auctioning dates with any of five USU students.

Ian Hancock, a volunteer at the Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence Information Office’s table, said there are no statistics collected for sexual assault on USU campus specifically, but the university does follow national trends. Between one in four and one in five women will be victims of assault during their college years.

“This can be anything from unwanted advances to more serious things like rape and stalking,” he said.

SAAVI was distributing “Man Cards” which contain a pledge for men “to never commit, condone or cover up any acts of sexual assault, rape, abuse or violence against any man, woman or child.”

Hancock said men need to be positive examples because they are an important part of campus and their perspective is necessary. SAAVI’s efforts are directed mainly toward prevention through grassroots efforts such as this.

“Women shouldn’t have to defend themselves or be afraid,” he said.

At 12:30 p.m. the expert panel convened, consisting of Hancock, Barfuss, social work grad student Ashley Atkins, and marriage and family therapist David Robinson. David Bush, director and research coordinator for CAPS, led the discussion.

The first question dealt with sensing red flags in an unhealthy relationship.

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