SRJC screens ‘That’s Not Love: Escalation’ to raise awareness about abusive relationships

Students watch “That’s Not Love: Escalation,” a documentary depicting an abusive college relationship.

Genesis Napel, Co-News Editor

Santa Rosa Junior College’s People Empowering Each other to Realize Success Coalition and Student Health Services hosted a screening of the film “That’s Not Love: Escalation” to bring awareness to domestic abuse.

The film, shown March 3 in the Bertolini Student Activities Center, depicted the hypothetical relationship of a white college couple and its progression from  flirtatious start to violent end. Facilitators from PEERS addressed the fact that domestic abuse happens in all kinds of relationships, not just romantic heterosexual ones.

Once the film was over, participants split into groups to discuss topics in the video. PEERS members facilitated a group discussion covering key points on recognizing the warning signs of abuse before it becomes overbearing or violent. Facilitators focused on differentiating between healthy and unhealthy relationships.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports one in three women and one in four men will or have experienced some form of physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.

PEERS member Jackie Barr said every three years SRJC partakes in the National College Health Assessment. The data collected is then used to gain a greater understanding of how many SRJC students are in relationships that interfere with their schooling or are considered emotionally taxing or abusive. “It clearly affects students,” Barr said.

Nearly 10 percent of students reported relationship difficulties negatively affected their studies.

“It’s definitely frightening to see those subtle signs,” said SRJC student Anthony Dunn. He said it’s important to positively influence male peer groups and rebuild social norms to honor and respect both men and women.

SRJC student Christian Deliveno attended the workshop and said he has seen some of the signs of unhealthy relationships within his own friend circles. He said he now realizes the importance of communication in preventing abuse. Deliveno pledged to uphold honesty about the things he observes as wrong in relationships and to intervene when needed.