Over the years, the number of sexual violence and harassment on college campuses has continued to rise. Organizations like Students for Violence Protection (SVP) are dedicated to spreading prevention awareness and supporting survivors.
On Monday, March 22, Students for Violence Prevention hosted the event “SVP: A Journey into the Self.” This is the second installment of a six-week series designed to help students identify and create healthy relationships with themselves and their partners, and openly discuss them in a safe environment on campus.
“The way I kind of designed it is, with each week, we would look at a different type of relationship in some ways,” said Megan Woodfield, graduate student in psychology and organizer of the event with SVP. “We knew that healthy relationships was a topic that isn’t really addressed that often, but it’s something that we’ve done a lot of content over. There is so much that goes into it so trying to break it down a little bit more and go more in depth into areas that we’ve really seen are the top stressors.”
The goal of SVP is to help students become more self-aware and open when discussing their mental health and building healthy relationships with themselves and others. Setting personal goals was one of the goals for SVP this week.
“College is the most at-risk time for people to be the victim of domestic violence or sexual violence and all of those really stem from this idea of not knowing what is healthy and what is not healthy in a relationship,” Woodfield said. “No one really teaches you how to assert boundaries and stuff like that so trying to take it down to it’s kind of simplest form with the hopes that if we can if we can do more things like this if we can get that education out there, then hopefully in the future there’s less domestic violence workshops we have to do in sexual violence awareness.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many students struggled with self-isolation this past year. In this week’s event, the main topic was identifying self-care methods by creating personal goals to build a better relationship with yourself.
Laine Rostic, freshman in psychology, said she thinks hosting more events like this on campus could be very beneficial and plans to attend next week’s chapter in this series.
“I feel like if more people knew about this they’d definitely come,” Rostic said. “Everybody just thinks that self-care is a face mask and a bubble bath and then okay you’re better for the week. But having this … is definitely going to help me. I think it could benefit a lot more people, especially with us not having spring break because everybody is kind of just going through the motions right now.”
“I feel like I’m not the only college student also feeling this way,” said Bridgette Dewey, family and consumer sciences sophomore. “Having and holding these things here would be really good to get (the message) across campus for other students to realize that you can improve in a lot of ways with self-care like psychologically, physically, and emotionally. All of that can have a big impact on the mental health of students on campus.”
“Such a big part of college is coming into college and learning more about yourself and meeting new people,” Woodfield said. “Yes, there is the curriculum and there is what you’re physically learning in classes, but some of my most powerful experiences in college were what I’ve learned outside of the classroom.”
Topics for the next four weeks include friendship, dating, family boundaries, and professional relationships with yourself. More installments of this event will be held the next four Mondays at 5:00 p.m. in the Sunflower Room in the Overman Student Center.
For more information about Students for Violence Prevention (SVP) or their upcoming events, please visit their webpage (pittstate.campuslabs.com/engage).