Pillow Talk brings light to the dangers of unhealthy relationships


Students gathered in Phase III assembly room for Pillow Talk.
Photo credit: Tonique Belnavis 

To bring awareness to the signs of unhealthy relationships, Savitri Thomas partnered with Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Student Health Services to host Pillow Talk at 7 p.m. on Fri., Dec. 1 in Phase III’s assembly room.

Serving as a panel discussion, Pillow Talk was held to give students a safe place to discuss topics on sex, love, and relationships. With the evolution of what defines a relationship and the stance on what a healthy relationship is, Thomas said the event was also to inform attendees of the signs of an unhealthy relationship.

“The expectation of this event was to create awareness. Sometimes you just don’t know. A lot of the times, females and males are caught up in a relationship and the characteristics that go into it, they are comfortable and think it is ok and in reality, it is abusive and manipulative and it is just not healthy. We wanted to bring light to that,” Thomas said.

Thomas added that, “abuse is not just physical, it can be mental and emotional too. Your friends will be there for you.”

Thomas and the panelists differentiated between a healthy, stable relationship and an unhealthy, unstable relationship. Thomas, along with the panelists noted that identifying the different signs are crucial.

Jarielle Walton, who was one of the panelist at Pillow Talk said that the panelists addressed “the elephant in the room.”

“This event helped students who have been in abusive or unhealthy relationships because the panel spoke out on the elephant in the room; the different things to look out for when someone can be controlling and understanding that it can develop into something more than just a verbal dispute,” Walton said.

“Talking about it, elaborating on it, and giving ways to seek an outlet and help is safe,” Walton continued.

Panelists in Phase III assembly room for Pillow Talk 
| Photo credit: Tonique Belnavis 

There can be a number of students at FAMU and outside of FAMU that go through the dangers of an unhealthy relationship and that sometimes scares students into not approaching the trained professionals who can help. However, second-year business administration student Stephen Brooks said there is  always someone to help.

“There is always someone who can help if you are in an abusive relationship. You should seek some type of guidance. Don’t sit back and let that happen. I know it's not easy, but I also know someone is willing to help you if you let them know what’s going on,” Brooks said.

Tanzania Ralph is a student who attended Pillow Talk, who said the event could have helped anyone in attendance.

“This program could have helped people if they paid attention to what the women and males said. You would know the perspective of a man or woman and how they think. Just by the information from both, you can use that and relay it to your current relationship,” Ralph said.

To learn about the resources available at FAMU Student Health Services visit http://www.famu.edu/index.cfm?shs&StudentHealthServicesHome