Red Flag Campaign

The Red Flag Campaign is a public awareness campaign designed to address dating violence and promote the prevention of dating violence on college campuses. The campaign uses a bystander intervention strategy, encouraging friends and other campus community members to “say something” when they see warning signs (“red flags”) for dating violence in a friend’s relationship.

Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance
Image of Red Flag Campaign
Program Name Level of Evidence Format Target Audience Special Features
Red Flag Campaign
  • Marketing Campaign
  • Undergraduate students
  • Graduate Students
  • Faculty and staff
Focus on dating violence

The Red Flag Campaign uses a bystander intervention strategy to address and prevent sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking on college campuses. The campaign encourages friends and other campus community members to say something when they see warning signs ("red flags") for sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking in a friend’s relationship.


It is up to whomever is administering the program to determine how long the campaign will last.


The Campus Planning Guide is a comprehensive organizing guide with step-by-step directions to launch the campaign, including how to use the campaign to enhance current campus programming, and how to build new campus events around it. The Campus Planning Guide also includes a countdown calendar, sample letters for creating buy in with faculty and administrators, discussion guides, sample press releases, fliers, and graphics files for designing publications.


The Red Flag Campaign utilizes red flags and posters to give students information about red flags in relationships. Red flags are placed around campus prior to launching the Campaign to pique student interest. The posters show students with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, as well as sexualities. Each poster illustrates an unhealthy behavior – red flag (sexual coercion, victim blaming, emotional abuse, sexual assault, stalking, isolation, and jealousy) – and offers an option for intervention as a friend. The back of each poster provides more information about healthy versus unhealthy relationships.

Theoretical Basis For Approach

The Red Flag Campaign is based on a bystander intervention approach.

Program Effectiveness

There are no peer-reviewed studies of the effectiveness of the Red Flag Campaign on attitudes toward rape, likelihood of bystander intervention, or any of the other traditional measures of program effectiveness. The Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance evaluated the Red Flag Campaign on 10 Virginia college campuses in 2006. Students on campuses which displayed red flags in addition to the poster campaign were more likely to notice the Red Flag Campaign posters and visit the Red Flag Campaign website for further information.


Over 400 institutions have used The Red Flag Campaign, including:

  • Appalachian State University
  • Colby College
  • College of William and Mary
  • George Mason University
  • Loyola University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • State University of New York, Oneonta
  • University of Colorado
  • Virginia Commonwealth University

The Red Flag Campaign (RFC) is a relatively simple yet creative marketing campaign targeting entire campus communities. Its greatest strengths are the unusual use of red flags, a literal and visual representation of a central concept in violence prevention, partnered with its inclusive, informative poster campaign. As October is national Domestic Violence Awareness month, the RFC provides an opportunity to refresh students’ awareness and knowledge on the topic of interpersonal and relationship violence midway through the Fall semester.


A Red Flag Campaign FULL package costs $950. Full packages include access to the Red Flag Campaign Campus Planning Guide, 160 posters, and 200 red flags. A Red Flag Campaign HALF package costs $500. Half packages include access to the Red Flag Campaign Campus Planning Guide, 80 posters, and 200 red flags Additional materials (cups, pens, posters, t-shirts, and flags) can be purchased separately. Customized packages are available as well.