FAMU Students Talk Abuse at ‘Break the Cycle’ Forum

Break the Cycle Organization discussed dating violence and abusive relationships among college-age students at an event at Florida A&M Tuesday.

The program was titled “I Love the Way You Lie” after the popular song by rapper Eminem and R&B singer Rhianna. They decided to reference the discussion to the song because of the different scenes of mistreatment toward a significant other.

“This program is so important for this audience” said Melissa Auter, a training consultant with the Leon County Health Department. ” This is really a problem here in Tallahassee because it’s a college town… most of the population within this area is between the ages of 16-24.”

She referred to the statistics given during the seminar; students between the ages of 16 and 24 are most susceptible to relationship violence. The presentation was filled with facts about abusive relationships within the young adult demographic. Pink papers were placed below one-third of the chairs in the room, representing the one-third of intimate relationships abusive college relationships.

“Breaking the Cycle” defined dating violence as the pattern of abusive behavior in a romantic relationship used to influence power.

“I never thought that abusive relationships where so prevalent in our age group,” said Stanley Fredaginne, a second-year biology student at Tallahassee Community College. “I was shocked at how in-depth dating violence can get. I mean, now that I think about it, I have seen it happen right in front of my face in my circle of friends…and to think I would have never noticed if it wasn’t for this evening.”

The presentation even addressed more subtle forms of abuse in relationships, like the notion of cyber-stalking.

“I promise, geo-tagging is the devil,” Katherine Cohen, 18, a freshman social work student at Florida State University, said. “My ex-boyfriend mentioned my tweet location in more than one of our disagreements. In order to prevent these sorts of situations, especially at a young age, it is very important to educate people about the signs of abuse, be they obvious or hidden.”