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The Antelope

Women’s Center ‘Intersections’ protects the heart

According to The American Bar Association, 28% of students on college campuses experience dating violence.


With Valentine’s Day approaching, it’s easy to get distracted by the fairytale aspect of romance, but what about the dark side associated with less-than-perfect relationships? UNK is prepared to eradicate harmful relationships through specialized programs made available to students.

The Women’s Center is spreading awareness through interviews and stories shared in their online podcast.

 “My co-host, Jose Monrroy, and I talk about things that students experience, and we wanted to do something relatable because we have both been UNK students before,” said Erica Con, the Women’s Center coordinator. “We talk about what you encounter when you are in college like mental health, suicidal thoughts, how to help those experiencing depression, sexual assault, domestic violence, masculinity and gender constructs.”

The monthly editions offer advice on how to handle relationships of all types with topics such as “Seize the Awkward,” “Be A Man” and “Unhealthy Relationships.”

The issues and signs of an unhealthy relationship are addressed within the podcasts, especially in their eighth episode, which focuses on January being Stalking Awareness Month. The information is still applicable in February, especially since we are in the midst of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. 

The signs of unhealthy relationships are taken directly from the National Domestic Violence hotline website. A few examples include blaming, threats, intimidation, isolation, emotional abuse, digital abuse, physical harm, and manipulation. Gaslighting is also a newer term being discussed, and it involves making the other partner question themselves and breaking down their perceptions.

As far as what to do if students witness these behaviors, they can help the victim by being supportive, starting positive conversations, allowing their friend to make decisions and refraining from blaming or preaching. The signs of a healthy relationship are a comfortable pace, trust, honesty, independence, respect, equality, kindness, taking responsibility, healthy conflict, and fun.

Even though one might suspect the Women’s Center to be hyper-focused on females, the tools and help that this resource provides is available to UNK students of all ages, genders, and backgrounds.

“I decided to change the name of the podcast to ‘Intersections,’ which is just acknowledging that everybody has different intersections of identities and experiences in their lives and those intersections produce different results for everybody,” said Con. “It’s for anyone to listen to, whether they are going to class or in their car.”

Other resources that UNK has to offer include the S.A.F.E. Center and the Mental Health and Counseling Office in the Memorial Student Affairs Building. Three free counselling sessions are included in student fees, and after the maximum has been reached, sessions are only $10 each. Feel free to check out the podcast series created by the Women’s Center by searching the following link: 

Students can also call the S.A.F.E. Center’s crisis line at 1-877-237-2513 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE if they are in a danger because of a violent partner.

Be sure to have a happy Valentine’s Day, but remember, Lopers, to protect your heart in the process. 

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