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    ‘Escalation’: A Tool to Combat Relationship Violence

    Preventing Relationship Violence and Stalking

    The One Love Foundation has created “Escalation,” a new workshop designed to reduce abusive relationships among young people. The foundation was formed to honor Yeardley Love, a University of Virginia student athlete who was killed by her ex-boyfriend. The workshop was pilot-tested extensively on college campuses and has received positive reactions from male and female students. One Love plans to roll out the program on more campuses and introduce it in high schools.

    UE has previewed “Escalation” and strongly recommends it to higher education institutions and high schools. The workshop is available at no cost to colleges and schools that agree to have a trained facilitator lead students in discussion. It can help higher education institutions meet the requirement to train students about bystander intervention under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), also known as the Campus SaVE Act. In addition, it could help higher education and high schools meet their training obligations under Title IX.

    UE believes that educating high school and college students on this topic is crucial because statistics show that relationship violence among people in this age group is a serious national problem. One Love, for example, notes that one in three women will experience a violent relationship in her lifetime and the risk of relationship violence is three times higher for women ages 16-24. Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites 2013 survey results that 10 percent of high school students reported physical violence and 10 percent reported sexual violence from a dating partner in the previous 12 months.

    The 90-minute workshop features a powerful, well-made film that follows the ultimately tragic relationship of a college-age couple (Paige and Chase), along with a guided discussion of the film and pre- and post-workshop surveys. The film portrays early red flags demonstrated by Chase’s possessiveness of Paige and how—as multiple people failed to intervene despite their concerns about his behavior—their relationship eventually became violent. The thorough student discussion guide that accompanies the film contains general advice for facilitating the workshop and 20 suggested questions, with teaching points for each, to help the facilitator guide the students’ discussion.

    To learn more about “Escalation” or to bring the workshop to your campus, click the “Contact Us Now” button at or email


    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Teen Dating Violence
    Reducing Risk in Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Situations
    Preventing Relationship Violence and Stalking

    Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act Learning Program
    Healthy Relationships Learning Program

    By Hillary Pettegrew, senior risk management counsel