Valentine’s Day is all about relationships. And with that, although we’re all about the candy and the flowers, we at She’s Fit to Lead thought that it was an important time to shine a light on dangerous relationships – those that are hard to talk about, that shake your confidence, take away your power and put you at grave risk:
There are only a few things in this world that I cannot stand, and one of the major ones is an abusive relationship. It is one thing to love unconditionally, but another to love obsessively, compulsively and controllingly. I cannot speak from experience, but I can only imagine how hard it is to step away from someone you tried giving your heart to who kept physically trying to tear it up from the outside in while saying it was out of love or that it would never happen again. This scary territory of not knowing how to escape a relationship or not being able to bear the idea of leaving someone you have loved and maybe still love may make one feel isolated and alone. However, there is always a community to seek help from and people who will give you safety. One of these communities is a foundation called OneLove.
OneLove is a foundation started by Yeardley Love’s family. Yeardley Love was a victim of relationship abuse; above that she was a teammate, a friend, a sister, a daughter. In 2010, she was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend, but her death wasn’t quiet. Her death shook the country and led to an outcry that relationship abuse is very real, and there needs to be an end. To honor Yeardley, her mother created OneLove, which has grown tremendously since that time.
So, what is OneLove? OneLove personifies the kindness and spirit of Yeardley. OneLove’s “work is rooted in our honest belief that relationship violence is an epidemic that can be stopped when young adults are educated and empowered to affect change in their communities.” That sounds like something I think everyone can get behind and support. They conduct workshops on college campuses around the country and create informational videos. They launched the #ThatsNotLove campaign to help raise awareness, and they train students to facilitate workshops to their colleges. The get help section of their website includes an app for assessing your situation and figuring out what to do.
They also sponsor numerous walks and runs through the Yards for Yeardley memorial campaign. OneLove is bringing educational tools to over 400 colleges and 150 high schools. Their impact is tremendous. They’re bringing this issue out into the open, and lighting a fire that is not going to burn out anytime soon.
If OneLove and their goal resonate with you, or if you want to get involved there are many ways to do so. You can bring an “escalation” workshop to your campus and be an educator. You can challenge your team or school to run 1 million yards for Yeardley, take to social media to talk about #ThatsNotLove, or donate to the foundation.