Purple Flag Project


Graphic courtesy of Sam Manhart and Abby Kaufman.

DECA students Sam Manhart and Abby Kaufman put together a project to raise awareness for domestic violence.

Seniors Abby Kaufman and Sam Manhart founded the Purple Flag initiative as part of a marketing class to raise awareness about domestic abuse and violence. The pair raised over $1,300 for this cause. In addition to raising money, they also sponsored a basketball game, made T-shirts as an incentive to fill out a sexual harassment survey, and hosted a speaker on Jan. 10.

The event began with a brief summary of the initiative, presented by Kaufman and Manhart. 

“Last week, we conducted a survey of 170 students and teachers [who were] provided with a clear definition of sexual assult, domestic violence and abuse,” Kaufman said. “70% of students here know someone who has been sexually assulted and another 18% have been sexually assulted.”

Kaufman and Manhart recognized that sexual assault and misconduct was a prevalent issue not only at Westside, but among teenagers everywhere. Because of this, they said they decided to organize the event to raise awareness. 

Their presentation included the consent acronym FRIES, which stands for Freely given, Reversible, Informed, Enthusiastic, and Specific. After the event, the attendees were given french fries to help them better remember the acronym. 

Beth Kujath, the featured speaker, is a social worker with a background working for the Church of the Latter-day Saints and a former responder to domestic violence calls for Jewish Family Services. Kujath is an expert on Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and focused her talk on educating students and parents on all the hallmarks of an abusive or unhealthy relationship. 

“Every abusive relationship is a cycle,” Kujath said. “First, there’s the honeymoon phase. Life is good, everything is peaches and cream. They’re buying you flowers, leaving you notes… Then, the tension builds and your partner will become irritable. And then usually it’s the explosion…  either they hit you, they yell at you… something happens that makes the aggression come out. But the cycle will continue, and eventually they’ll buy you flowers again and it’ll go back to the honeymoon phase.”

Kujath also talked about how it can sometimes be hard to realize you are in an abusive or unhealthy relationship and can be even harder to leave.

If you are in an abusive relationship, you deserve better. Don’t remain silent. Dial (800) – 799 – SAFE for change.