Red Flag Campaign

Red Flag Campaign at Marshall

Each year, during the first month of the Fall semester, the Violence Prevention and Response Program in partnership with the Women’s and Gender Center, launch the Red Flag Campaign. Students, faculty, and staff can engage with campaign through “planted” plots of red flags across campus and on social media.

This year, the Marshall community can find flags in MSC Triangle Field, and informational yard signs in the surrounding MSC area.

Relationship Violence & Sexual Assault

  • 1 in 4 or 5 women and 1 in 20 men will experience attempted or completed sexual assault during their time in college
  • 1 in 3 relationships have some aspect of abuse present
  • 47% of transgender and non-binary people experience sexual violence during their lifetime, and 78% experience harassment
  • 18-24 year-olds experience the highest rates of sexual assault and interpersonal violence
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 13 men will experience stalking during their lifetime
  • Two-thirds of women who experienced stalking were stalked by current or former intimate partners

Warning Signs

The campaign encourages students, staff, and faculty to be active positive bystanders if they witness warning signs of relationship violence and sexual assault. A positive bystander has the ability to step in and talk with their friend, family member, or student about their safety and help them find resources should they need them. Warning signs or “red flags” may look like:

Relationship Violence Red Flags

  • Insults or derogatory language used against a partner
  • Controlling behaviors
  • Jealousy
  • Monitoring social media
  • Isolating their partner from family or friends
  • Controlling finances
  • Bruises or other injuries
  • Withdrawal from usual activities

Sexual Assault Red Flags

  • Attempts to separate someone from their friends and get them alone
  • Pressuring someone to drink excessively
  • Use of date-rape drugs
  • Pushing physical boundaries
  • Signs of incapacitation
  • Use of pressure, guilt, or coercion
  • Bruises or other injuries

You’ve Noticed Red Flags, Now What?

If you notice a red flag, you have options to help intervene!

All bystanders face a choice: Do I ignore the situation? Or do I step in and try to make things better?

You may never encounter a critical emergency. More likely, you could find yourself in everyday situations where you may notice behavior that could be disrespectful, harassing, controlling, coercive, or harmful.

You have the ability to:

  • stop a situation from escalating
  • help someone that could be at risk
  • prevent someone from making a decision that could harm themselves or another person

Use the three D’s! Direct, Delegate, and Distract

Direct: Do something yourself, like asking someone to stop what they are doing or checking on someone that you think might need help.

Delegate: If you do not feel comfortable stepping in yourself, ask someone for help. This could be an RA, RD, Dean, another staff or faculty member, peer, or campus safety officer.

Distract: If you don’t want to address the situation directly, a distraction could be a good way to diffuse tension or give someone who’s uncomfortable an opportunity to exit.

Red Flag Campaign Background

The Red Flag Campaign uses a bystander intervention strategy to address and prevent sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking on college campuses. The campaign encourages friends and other campus community members to say something when they see warning signs (“red flags”) for sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking in a friend’s relationship.

The Campaign is a project of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, and was created by college students, college personnel, and community victim advocates.

For more information about the national campaign, visit