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So you think you are in love? UTRGV Counseling Center to educate students on unhealthy relationships

MARIO GONZALEZ/ THE RIDER

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Counseling Center is partnering with Mujeres Unidas to present the outreach event, “Love Doesn’t Have to Hurt.”

The event will take place Tuesday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m in the Student Union on the Edinburg campus and from 11:30
a.m.-1 p.m. in the Main Courtyard on the Brownsville campus.

Julissa Gonzalez, counseling specialist II at the university Counseling Center in Edinburg, said her ultimate goal is to bring awareness to students on healthy and unhealthy relationships.

“We will be providing information about our center, information on healthy relationships and domestic violence,” Gonzalez said. “Mujeres Unidas, the Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention Program, and Delta Xi Nu sorority will be
assisting us, too, providing pamphlets.”

Maria Alejandra Mazariegos, counseling specialist II on the Brownsville campus, said the aim of the campaign is to “help people realize that domestic violence and abusive relationships don’t just mean physical hitting and physical
bruising.”

“It can be if your partner is insulting you, putting you down or calls you names, prevents you from being who you want to be, all those things are cheating on you constantly and that’s what we want students to know,” Mazariegos said. “Love doesn’t have to hurt and it shouldn’t hurt.”

She said signs of an unhealthy relationship are not just physical. There are emotional and psychological aspects too, that can be abusive and oftentimes cause much more long-term harm.

English senior John Martinez encourages students to attend the event.

“It’s important to learn that nowadays a lot people aren’t aware of it in the way they should be. I’ve actually seen domestic violence,” Martinez said. “I think it’s something people should be interested in attending. You can be prepared for it just in case it happens.

I would recommend students to go get information.” Nursing senior Ana Reyna agrees that this topic should be discussed more in the community.

“It’s something that doesn’t really get spoken around here,” Reyna said. “I guess because it’s taboo, so it’s good for it to be in the open. People should know about it because they should feel like they are not the only ones who have gone through it.

It’s realistic and it’s happening and they should be aware of it and should not be afraid to talk about it.” Gonzalez said the tabling event is open to everyone.

“We’re going to have Valentine candy, blank Valentine cards, as well, so students can fill out and give them to their significant other, and fruit-infused water,” she said.

For more information or special accommodations, call the UTRGV Counseling Center at 665-2574.

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