By Carly Guise
Every minute, 20 people are victims of intimate partner violence. Every day, three women are murdered by a current or former male partner.
Domestic violence is defined by violent or aggressive behavior, typically, but not always, within the home, towards a spouse or partner, with abusers often using intimidation, threats, isolation, and sexual assault to control their victims. On average, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes.
Jessica Castle from the YWCA York calls it an epidemic. “The most recent statistics that I have seen show that 1 in 3 teens are or will be in a teen-dating violent, abusive relationship,” she said. “This doesn’t only mean physical abuse; it can be verbal, emotional, or digital. There’s a lot of different forms of abuse.”
Domestic violence is often hidden from the public eye, which is why it can be hard for close friends and even parents of victims to figure out that something is wrong.
One of the main red flags to look out for is control. This can range from the abuser controlling who the victim can be friends with to deciding what is acceptable to wear out in public, or even if they’re allowed to go out at all.
Other flags that should be paid attention to as well include extreme jealousy and verbal bullying, especially in teenage relationships.
“If you see that behavior is changing in your friend, if they’re becoming more withdrawn, or not hanging out with you, and making up a lot of excuses, it would be time to get concerned,” Castle said. “The best thing to do in that case is to reach out to that person, in a supportive way, to let them know that you’re concerned and that you’re there for them.”
It’s also very important to not reach out to a friend in a judgemental fashion. “If you think about someone in an abusive relationship, their self-esteem and confidence is down, and the last thing that they need is a friend to criticize them too.” Castle said.
While it may take a while for the person in the abusive relationship to recognize it, the best way to help them through it is to be persistent and be there for them. And when they finally do realize that their relationship is dangerous, the most effective way to get away safely is to make a plan and make everyone around them aware of the situation.
Let those connected to the person know that they are trying to leave the relationship, so that they are not encouraged to “just take one phone call” and reconcile or to allow the other person to get ahold of a new cell phone number or street address.
Domestic violence is all about control and power, so the most dangerous time for someone in an abusive relationship is when they are actually leaving the abuser, taking the power and control with them.
For those who aren’t sure whether or not their relationship is toxic or not, Castle has one question to help you decide. “Ask them to take an inventory of what they like about the person they’re in a relationship with, as well as what they don’t like about that person. Do the healthy characteristics outweigh the bad, unhealthy ones?”
"Red Lion Pride" is a phrase that deeply resonates with many teachers, administration and the surrounding community. One of the goals of the district is for more students to have pride in their school, which is evident through themes at sporting events, school clothing, pep rallies and spirit weeks.
Recently, student council began a campaign to find ways to have a higher number of students participating in spirit weeks. Adviser Mrs. Jane Dennish explained that the ideas is to orientate the spirit days so that the majority of students will be interested and want to participate.
October saw a spirit week held in preparation for the big Halloween game against Dallastown that had a lot of positive feedback. Some of the days included a hat day, "camo day" and America Monday, with hat day raising over $350 for the school.
Dennish helps to plan spirit week along with her committee. "I had received training that helped me in deciding the spirit days," said Mrs. Dennish. "In this training, I was taught to keep it simple and accessible to everyone."
Dennish wants to keep the spirit weeks and days simple and basic. She tries to have spirit days that are "oriented for all the students to express who they are."
The question is, why don't more students participate in spirit week?
"Some of what deters people from spirit week is paying for it," said Mr. Keith Blackwell, a tech-ed teacher at Red Lion Area Senior Highs School.
For many years, Red Lion has had days where the students were asked to wear some sort of clothing to represent school spirit and pride.
Mrs. Andrea Rohrbaugh would like to see more Red Lion's students participate in these types of days. "There are not enough kids," said Rohrbaugh.
Dennish wants to keep the spirit weeks and days simple and basic. She tries to have spirit days that are "oriented for al the students to express who they are."
"I think school spirit is pretty cool," said Sophomore Kyle Oberdick. As seen on the graph, more students participated in the Spirit week than they did year round.
In December, there will be another Spirit week including an ugly sweater contest and other eventful days, including another hat day. If students wear a Santa hat, they can wear it for free.
By Nicole Thivierge
With the new school year looming, sports starting, and back to school sales popping up, this year sparks a lot of different goals in everyone.
“My goals for the upcoming school year are mostly academic, I plan to work very hard on my school work to make a great first impression on the colleges I’m looking at applying to,” senior Mason Zeplo said. “I am very excited for my senior year and I hope to make it a great year. I plan to work hard on my school work and I am also looking forward to working with Executive Council as the Treasurer to raise as much money as possible.”
“My goals are to continue to get good grades, help out the Class of 2015 Executive Council and play sports,” junior Dakota Boring said.
College admissions are just around the corner, and for many seniors, graduating and getting into college is a top priority on their to-do lists.
“My goals for this upcoming school year would have to be focusing on my academics so I can get into a good college for next fall. I plan on raising my GPA and taking challenging classes to make my transcript look more impressing,” senior Alyssa Castle said.
“This year my goals are to have the best grades that I can get and to be a good leader and role model as a senior in student council,” senior Reggie Smith said.
For others, sports are one of their main priorities.
“I would love to win counties and make it to districts this year! Beating Dallastown and proving everyone wrong, too,” senior soccer player Aubree Davis said. “[My academic goals] would be staying on track and getting accepted into my dream school PSU!”