What is Dating & Relationship Violence?
Dating & Relationship Violence is defined as a pattern of controlling behavior in which an intimate partner uses physical violence and/or emotional, sexual, economic or cultural abuse to control the other partner in the relationship. Dating & relationship violence on college campus often remains invisible. Violent and abusive behavior can exist any relationship - short term, long term, between same sex partners, people with disabilities, regardless of race, ethnicity and class. This violence is also called domestic violence, intimate abuse and spousal abuse.
Is your relationship abusive?
There are several characteristics of abusive relationships. They range from physical, sexual, emotional, economic, to implied violence through threats and gestures. This is a list of some behaviors, not all abusive behaviors however, that may indicate that your relationship is abusive:
- Does your partner’s temper scare you?
- Are you afraid to disagree with your partner?
- Do you apologize for your partner’s behavior when you are treated badly?
- Is your partner charming in public but menacing in private?
- Have you been hit, kicked, shoved or had things thrown at you?
- Is your partner violent when he/she drinks or uses drugs?
- Does your partner ridicule, criticize, or insult you?
- Does your partner talk about or display weapons?
- Do you not see friends or family or do things because of your partner’s jealousy?
- Has your partner forced unwanted sex on you?
- Do you justify everything you do and every place you go and every person you see to avoid your partner’s temper?
- Have you repeatedly been wrongly accused of flirting?
- Has your partner threatened to hurt or kill you or someone close to you?
- Has your partner threatened to commit suicide?
- You have the right to be free of intimidation
- You have the right to be free from fear of your partner
- You have the right to take action against abuse
- You have the right to make choices that meet your needs and desires
- You have the right to have others respect you and your rights
Characteristics of a healthy and safe relationship:
- Partnerships: joint decision-making, shared responsibilities.
- Economic Equality: freedom to decide issues of work, school, and money.
- Emotional Honesty: feel safe to admit and share fears and insecurities.
- Sexual Respect: both partners respect each other’s sexual boundaries and ensure that all sexual contact is mutually consensual.
- Physical Safety: respect partner’s, physical space, express self, non-violently.
- Supportive, Trusting Communication: listen and understand, value partner’s opinions, mutually work towards each other’s life goals.
- Respectful: respect right of differing opinions, feelings, friends, and activities, seek compromise in disagreements.
If you are in an abusive relationship,
you have choices:
Remember that only you can what decisions are best and/or safest for you. SARC can assist you in identifying different options that are available to you.
- Decide who you can safely talk to about the situation (friends, family, crisis center)
- Decide where you can go for safety and how you would get there
- Obtain a Temporary Order of Protection (Each person must decide what is best for him/herself in regards to notification of the authorities).
- Contact the police. (Reporting the case to campus or local police allows the authorities to establish a pattern of contact and to hold the abuser accountable through the criminal justice system. Each person must decide what is best for him/herself in regards to notification of the authorities).
- Decide how to plan for your safety. Some suggestions for planning may include:
- Put away some cash for yourself in a safe, accessible place
- Whenever an argument with the abuser feels imminent, move to a lower-risk space (one with less potential for causing injury and with access to the outside)
- Keep the number for your local crisis line somewhere safe and accessible (SARC 24-hour line: 243-6559)
- Contact a local resource (such as the SARC) to inquire about additional choices and options for safety planning
- Take precautions when using a home computer if you think your use may be monitored (more info on the stalking page).