Kat Chats workshop discusses dating violence identification, prevention

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Students gathered in Leasure Hall Tuesday to attend the latest Kat Chats workshop, “But I Love You! Keeping Your Relationship Healthy and Happy,” to learn more about dating abuse and how it can be identified and prevented among teens and college students.

Presented by K-State Counseling Services in association with the Center for Advocacy, Response and Education, the Kat Chats event involved a variety of interactive activities to promote honest and open conversation on the many facts, statistics and common misconceptions about healthy relationships, dating and domestic violence among college students.

The statistics presented during the workshop showed that nearly half (43 percent) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors. One in six college women have been sexually abused in a dating relationship, and about one in three (36 percent) dating college students give a dating partner their computer login, online access information, email or social network passwords, making these students more likely to experience digital dating abuse.

“Dating violence is something that can happen to any individual, be it women, men, teenagers, young adults or even older adults,” said Clara Kientz, assistant director at the Center for Advocacy, Response and Education. “It’s not exclusive to any sort of population.”

Richelle Dadian, psychology intern for K-State Counseling Services, emphasized three main topics: the formula for healthy communication, how communication affects people and how to identify the common traits of dating violence by knowing the red flags for healthy relationships developing into unhealthy and abusive relationships.

Kientz went on to point out that most college students are not equipped to deal with dating abuse.

“57 percent say it is difficult to identify, and 58 percent say they don’t know how to help someone who is experiencing it,” Kientz said.

K-State Counseling Services encourages any student who is a victim of, or knows of a student who has been a victim of dating violence, to report any events or concerns to Counseling Services — located on the second floor of the English and Counseling Services Building — or visit the Center for Advocacy, Response and Education in Holton Hall.

The next Kat Chats presentation, “Block Out the Noise: Career Decisions for YOU!” is scheduled for Oct. 24, from 4 to 4:45 p.m. in Leasure 013.

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