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JWI Teams With Campus Greek Communities on Healthy-Relationship Program

Sigma Delta Tau and Zeta Beta Tau work to educate members and others about dating abuse.

Sue Tomchin
Spring 2013

JWI Joins With SDT and ZBT to Create Healthy-Relationship Program for Campuses

Dating abuse is a significant issue on college campuses. A 2011 survey from Love Is Not Abuse found that nearly 1 in 3 upperclassmen experienced dating abuse in college. Moreover, the majority of students said dating abuse is difficult to identify, and more than half would not know how to help someone they knew was a victim.

JWI, in partnership with the sorority Sigma Delta Tau (SDT) and fraternity Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT), is developing a workshop on healthy relationships for the Greek community on college campuses. This program will empower young people to make healthy relationship choices and support their peers.

“The relationship between Sigma Delta Tau, Zeta Beta Tau and JWI is the first of its kind, and we look forward to educating not only our members on the importance of healthy relationships, but also fraternity men and sorority women across the globe,” says Laurence Bolotin, executive director of ZBT.

“Having an opportunity to develop a program about healthy relationships with these two groups that play such a significant role in Greek life on so many campuses is an important step forward for JWI,” says Deborah Rosenbloom, JWI director of programs. “It gives us a chance to reach young people who can immediately benefit from this knowledge and carry it with them into their future relationships, in addition to sharing it with others.”

This groundbreaking program, which will be piloted on three campuses in the fall of 2013, will examine relationships through the lens of power and control; explore gender norms, elements of healthy and unhealthy relationships, and dating abuse; and teach how to be an active bystander. After the program has been piloted in the fall, JWI will help train SDT and ZBT leaders to conduct the program on their own campuses. Program elements will ultimately include a facilitators’ guide and a video and will incorporate creative use of social media and advocacy efforts.

“JWI’s healthy relationships program blends beautifully with our desire to teach young women to feel strong, safe and confident,” says Ann Braly, chief operating officer of SDT. “Adding fraternity men to the program transforms the dynamics perfectly. Young men and women can openly discuss respect, friendship, relationships and an equality of power. Young adults don’t often get this opportunity to exchange candid dialogue, in a group setting, with the opposite sex.”

Bolotin also sees the program as an important growth opportunity for the young men in his organization. “ZBT looks to this as a valuable resource for our members to break down the stereotypes of the role that men play in a relationship,” he says. “Men can, and should, understand how terms like ‘sensitivity’ or ‘feelings’ aren’t a sign of weakness. Further, our members need to also understand how to not only confront situations that they know are wrong, but should also be educated on how to serve as an ally.”

Adds Braly: “We applaud JWI for once again creating another innovative educational program to help young adults realize the full potential of their personal strength.”

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