A. Craig

A. Craig

Alyssa Craig, News Writer

Since February is known as Teenage Dating Violence Awareness Month, a representative from the Family Crisis Center asked Heritage students to make something to promote the more subtle signs of an abusive relationship. A few students volunteered to film a video displaying what to watch out for.

Senior Patrick Redman handled all the technical aspects, including directing, filming, and editing. He’s also responsible for recruiting the actors involved. Seniors Henry Tollett and Aaron Smith, juniors Zach Scott, Ansley Bice, and Hannah Smith, and freshman Edy Atwell played numerous parts. Some played the abuser, some played the abused, and some played both. For many of the scenes, the actors weren’t given a script, allowing them to improvise various lines and actions. Overall, they managed to keep it fresh, interesting, and even a little bit funny.

However, the film was also extremely informative, giving many examples of things to look out for while dating, or “red flags.” Many of the boyfriends or girlfriends were unnecessarily clingy and possessive. They would take each other’s phones and check messages or social media accounts without permission. They would get jealous easily and sometimes even violent. One actor even punched a hole in a wall (the wall being made of paper, of course). If they saw their significant other with anyone of the opposite gender, they would get unreasonably angry. They guilted, controlled, and manipulated each other. It wasn’t healthy.

Many teenagers don’t know or don’t recognize these signs as “red flags.” They may seem harmless at first, but there is real danger in allowing destructive behavior like the ones shown to continue. There’s nothing wrong with familiarizing yourself with these “red flags” of dating. The video is posted on the Family Crisis Center’s website and Facebook for anyone to watch.