Morris Knolls High School, in conjunction with the Jersey Battered Women’s Service, has introduced a new program called the “Yellow Card Challenge” aimed at giving students the tools to recognize relationship abuse. The campaign focuses on student athletes in both high school and college, due to the fact that domestic violence is such a serious problem in professional sports. The Morris Knolls men’s and women’s basketball teams were a big part of deciding what direction the campaign would go in, so it was only right that they were a part of the celebration when the program finally launched. Basketball players from the school helped to define the rules, terms, concepts and ideals of the campaign, aiming to stop dating violence among their own peers, as well as the country. You may not think about dating violence as an issue among athletes and students this young, but a survey of middle and high school students in the tri state area produced shocking results. 33 percent of the students surveyed reported that they had experienced psychological dating abuse. 18 percent said they had experienced cyber-dating abuse, 21 percent admitted to experiencing physical dating abuse, while 9 percent reported being the victims of sexual coercion. The campaign gave student athletes Yellow Card shirts to wear and spread the word. All of the athletes also signed a large “pledge poster”, and given “Yellow Cards”, not unlike those used in soccer to penalize a player for being too rough. These cards presented the slogan “Dating Doesn’t Have A Playbook, But It Does Have Rules”, along with warning signs of an abusive relationship written on them. The Yellow Card campaign reaches these students at a critical time in their lives, when they are still learning about how to act in a relationship, and don’t have risk behaviors already when it comes to dating. Student athletes are leaders and role models, which is why they were the perfect base for the campaign, as they can pass on the model behaviors they learn through the campaign to their peers.  For more information, or to take the Yellow Card pledge yourself, visit, and support this campaign against relationship violence and domestic abuse. 

Categories: Social