In an effort to raise awareness of the warning signs of relationship abuse, Dana Hall School has partnered with St. Sebastian’s School and the One Love Foundation to bring the organization’s Escalation Workshops into the School’s community. Each workshop, which is led by a student facilitator, consists of a film, Escalation, a guided discussion, and an activation piece to reinforce teachings. The 10 facilitators from Dana Hall are members of Peer Education; the 10 facilitators from St. Sebastian’s are Senior Leaders.
S. Esposito ’19 became a facilitator because she is co-head of the Peer Education club at Dana Hall. “Facilitating this event makes me feel like I am helping victims of domestic violence by letting them know that people at our school will know the signs in future relationships. I want students to walk away knowing that this is something that could happen to anyone. People who experience domestic violence do not expect it to happen to them. If they had the education to know what the signs of an unhealthy relationship were, they could potentially have had a different future. I also want people to feel like if they are experiencing an unhealthy relationship that they have resources to reach out to,” said Esposito ’19.
The workshops continue dialogue and education on healthy versus unhealthy dating.
“When I was a freshman at Dana, I remember how I looked up to my two senior Peer Educators—they had such a long-lasting effect on me that when it was the time to apply to Peer Education, I jumped at that chance immediately. It was one of the best decisions I made during my junior year because I made new friends with underclassmen and with other girls in my grade. I want people to walk away knowing that these situations happen to many people and they are very common,” said A. Lee ’19.
The co-educational trainings and workshops took place in January, with students from both Dana Hall and St. Sebastian’s School participating. “I would really love for everyone to walk into their future surroundings educated and aware of themselves and the future individuals they may become platonically/romantically involved with,” said A. Chikunya ’19, another facilitator. “This workshop provides a safe space within the Dana community for tough issues that pertain to relationships to be brought to light and discussed. I feel as though this workshop will ebb away at some of the stigma often associated with abusive relationships and that students will understand that even though they are part of the Dana community, they very well can be affected by abusive relationships.”
The One Love Foundation celebrates and honors the positive spirit and kindness that Yeardley Love, a victim of domestic violence, personified. The organization is committed to honoring Yeardley’s memory and educating young adults on relationship violence.
"My favorite Dana Hall memory would be the first time I ever sang the Alma Mater with my fellow classmates. That was most definitely the first time I felt like I was truly a part of something. Joining hands with my future Silver Sisters made me truly feel like I was a Dana girl."