Courtesy of Tim Buttigieg '19

November 20, 2016

Student Ambassador Promotes Open Dialogue About Relationship Abuse

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An ambassador for One Love Foundation, Tim Buttigieg ’19 said he hopes to begin discussions about relationship violence and abuse on campus, in order to prevent incidents from occurring in the future.

Buttigieg explained that he became involved with the foundation last year as a campus facilitator. He said growing up in Bronxville, where One Love was founded, influenced him to join the organization.

“I wanted to get involved with a charity that I could directly impact, and I could directly see the impact of,” he said. “And this was one that was close to home.”

One Love was founded in 2010, following the death of University of Virginia senior Yeardley Love at the hands of her boyfriend three weeks before graduation. Since then, foundation ambassadors have sprung up across the country, aiming to educate students on college campuses about the signs and dangers of relationship abuse.

“God forbid [students] are ever in a situation like that, they can feel empowered to not be a bystander, but to intervene, and to make a difference with the goal of eventually ending relationship abuse,” Buttigieg said.

According to Buttigieg, One Love holds workshops on campus called ‘Escalation’ for those who wish to learn about sexual abuse.

“[Workshops include] a 35 minute video followed by about a 45 to 50 minute discussion about the warning signs that go on, and how abuse can be shown in many different ways,” he explained. “Our goal on campus is, through these workshops on campus, to spread the news to as many students as possible.”

By bringing One Love to Cornell, Buttigieg said he aims to educate students about the dangers of sexual abuse and the support system in place for students who have experienced it in the past.

The idea is to “start and continue these conversations so that society’s way of viewing abuse changes, so that it’s not something that a victim has to be afraid to speak about, so that they can feel empowered and comfortable in a safe environment,” Buttigieg said.

Student athletes, coaches, students involved in Greek Life and students wishing to learn about relationship abuse have all attended workshops on campus, according to Buttigieg.

Buttigieg said he hopes one day to further integrate the One Love Foundation in the Cornell community by transforming it into a club.

“This wouldn’t be your normal club, where there’s weekly meetings and such,” he said. “Everyone who is trained as a facilitator can join this club and help us spread the message to as many areas of campus as possible.”