INDIANAPOLIS – The statistics are startling: one in every three women and one in every four men will experience relationship violence in their lifetime. The ongoing partnership between the Horizon League Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the One Love Foundation seeks to raise awareness, educate and provide young people with the tools and resources they need to take a stand against relationship violence.
Horizon League SAAC members have taken a leadership role in the program’s implementation, organizing campus initiatives, training peer facilitators and conducting education sessions with fellow student-athletes.
One of the program’s key teaching tools is the Escalation Workshop, an engaging 90-minute film-based workshop that educates participants about relationship violence. During the recent Horizon League SAAC summit, student-athlete leaders strategized with One Love’s Emily Lloyd about expanding the program’s implementation across Horizon League campuses.
“The conversation that we have during the Escalation Workshop really addresses these unhealthy relationship behaviors and talks about the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships,” said Lloyd. “That conversation is great, but after those 90 minutes you leave the room and you have to figure out how to continue it. That’s a lot of what we’re brainstorming – how can students be trained as facilitators and bring it to their peers and, more importantly, students outside of the athletic department, recognizing that student-athletes are definitely leaders on campus.”
For one Horizon League SAAC representative, spreading the One Love Foundation message led her to an internship with the foundation and to become one of its biggest advocates.
“The numbers speak for themselves: one in three women and one in four men will be influenced by this. The biggest demographic is 16 to 24-year-olds, so it really is a pertinent topic on college campuses,” said Milwaukee SAAC representative and One Love Foundation Intern Arica Smith. “These are things that everyone is influenced by whether they realize it or not, so we’re really trying to get the word out so people can see those signs and pick up on them before things get worse. The bottom line is that this doesn’t just affect athletes. Yeardley Love was an athlete, but she was a student too. This affects everybody. That’s the stance that we’re taking. We’re trying to reach as many people as possible.”
For more information about the One Love Foundation, visit its website at JoinOneLove.org. Resources are available on the One Love Foundation website for those wishing to learn more about the program or who are seeking relationship violence support information.
Horizon League SAAC members discussed a variety of national, conference and campus-specific issues during their annual meetings in Indianapolis, including the implementation of a new Horizon League governance structure that provides student-athletes a voice and a vote on all five of the League’s standing cabinets and on the Executive Council.
ABOUT THE ONE LOVE FOUNDATION
Founded in 2010 to honor the memory of Yeardley Love, One Love works with young people across the country to raise awareness about the warning signs of abuse and activate communities to work to change the statistics around relationship violence.
2017 Horizon League Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Members
Sophie Kelner, Senior, Women’s Golf
Jon Lavalle, Senior, Men’s Swimming/Diving
Suzie Redick, Junior, Women’s Soccer
Charlie Felton, Junior, Men’s Cross Country/Track & Field
Jessica Lindstrom, Senior, Women’s Basketball
Bennett Hutson, Junior, Men’s Golf
Allex Brown, Junior, Women’s Basketball
Jeremy Breedlove, Senior, Men’s Cross Country/Track & Field
Arica Smith, Senior, Women’s Swimming/Diving
Francesco Saporito, Junior, Men’s Soccer
Kelly Turner, Sophomore, Women’s Volleyball
Jacob Poore, Sophomore, Men’s Golf
Sidney Santos, Junior, Women’s Basketball
Nathaniel Schweers, Junior, Men’s Baseball
Janeka Stokes, Sophomore, Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field
Jordan Blount, Sophomore, Men’s Basketball
Macey Gunther, Junior, Women’s Softball
Sam Meek, Junior, Men’s Golf
Alexis Roach, Junior, Women’s Softball
Alan Burns, Junior, Men’s Cross Country/Track & Field