Healthy Relationships: Building a Spectrum

As part of our Domestic Violence Awareness Month programming and In partnership with the YWCA and Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland & Perry Counties (DVSCP), the WGRC recently held an event that encouraged folks to think about what they consider to be the characteristics of an unhealthy relationship. Emily Ott (she/her) of the YWCA and Benji Abel (he/they) of DVSCP facilitated the event.

Emily and Benji provided participants with cards that had harmful relationship behaviors on them. The behaviors ranged from “controls what you post on social media” to inflicting sexual violence. Facilitators then asked participants, each of whom had three of these cards, to place the cards on a spectrum that ranged from least harmful to most harmful. The placement of these cards on the spectrum prompted some discussion among participants. as folks felt the cards’ placements should be altered.

Following the exercise, the facilitators asked for volunteers to stand along the spectrum of relationship behaviors to indicate where their “breaking point” would fall, or what kinds of behaviors would cause one to leave the relationship.  Some folks shared that their likelihood to end a relationship with harmful behaviors could depend on the length of that relationship.

Finally, Emily and Benji shared information about services that are available in the Carlisle area for those who find themselves in an unhealthy or abusive relationship.

DVSCP has a 24-hour hotline and can be reached at 1-800-852-2102. A trained staff member will answer the phone and help schedule appointments and/or direct callers to appropriate resources. The YWCA also has a 24-hour hotline, available at 888-727-2877. The YMCA provides resources including counseling, support groups, and service referral information. The Dickinson Sexual Violence 24-hour Hotline is 717-609-4244

Attendees of this event were generous enough to provide their feedback in order to support the development of future programming. Feedback from attendees of WGRC events is always welcomed. This feedback helps the WGRC to plan events that best meet the needs of our community. To provide feedback on WGRC events, folks are welcome to speak to the Director of the office, Dr. Donna Bickford. Folks can also speak to WGRC student workers (Julia Kagan, Nhi Ly, Ellen McInnes or Grace Moore), who will relay the information to Donna.

Written by Julia Kagan ’22, WGRC Student Worker

November 10, 2021