This fall, a new student initiative called the One Love club is heightening awareness of relationship abuse on the Deerfield campus. The club is modeled after the One Love Foundation, an organization founded in memory of Yeardley Love, a senior at the University of Virginia who was brutally beaten to death by her boyfriend in 2010. The One Love Foundation promotes awareness about the warning signs of relationship abuse, teaches preventative steps, and uses videos to educate students on both high school and college campuses.
Club officers Hollin Hanau ’18, Helen Hicks ’18, Kevin Hendrick ’18, and Mary Mack Brown ’18 led the effort to bring One Love’s message to campus. According to the club leaders, a significant percentage of college students who had completed the One Love program wished they had learned about the signs of relationship abuse in high school.
“We’re not saying that Deerfield has a problem with relationship abuse … It’s about educating [students] for the future when we’re not in such a safe place,” said Hicks.
The club played one of the foundation’s educational videos at school meeting this September, which raised awareness of the fact that relationship abuse may not always be obvious.
Nate Baker ’19, an active member of the club, noticed how the community “connected with [the video] and saw the importance of it.” Hicks also commented that Yeardley’s story “hit home to a lot of people.”
The entire One Love club collectively hopes that their plans to take action against relationship abuse will be beneficial to all students regardless of whether they are currently in a relationship or not. Hendrick ’18 stated that this year, the club’s goal is to “plant the seeds for the years to come at Deerfield … The change comes from us … Look out for each other, and if something is going on, don’t be scared to just ask. Sometimes that can make a world of a difference.”
The One Love club urges all who are interested in how they can get involved, to contact any of the aforementioned members.