Abusive Dating Relationships
Physical and sexual violence in early adult relationships often starts during teenage
dating when males and females form their first conclusions about what to expect
and accept from each other. In many cases, teenagers are predisposed to accept physical
abuse because of exposure to it in their homes, either as victims or witnesses.
Members of the LGBT community experience violence in their intimate relationships
at about the same rate as heterosexuals. Only one in twenty-five adolescent victims
seeks professional help. Abusive relationships often involve a pattern of repeated
verbal, sexual, emotional, and physical abuse that escalates the longer the relationship
continues. Some of the indicators of an abusive relationship are verbal abuse; isolation
from friends and loved ones; fear of the partner’s temper; fear of abandonment by
the partner; accepting the partner’s controlling behavior; fear of intimidation;
the distortion of the partner’s hurtful behavior; assuming responsibility for the
partner’s abusive behavior; feeling trapped; and fear of leaving the abusive partner.
Some abusive relationships include behaviors that are in violation of Campus Regulations
and/or state laws. When you became aware that a student is in an abusive relationship:
- When possible, see the student in private.
- Be aware that the student may be
feeling vulnerable and fearful.
- Be supportive of the student and aware that being
a victim of an abusive relationship involves many psychological factors.
the student to the Women’s Center to speak to the Rape Prevention Education Program
- Refer the student to Counseling Services (893-4411).
- If the student believes he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment, they
may file a complaint or grievance. For additional information related to this process,
refer the student to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Sexual Harassment/Title
IX Compliance, 3217 Phelps Hall, (893-2701)
- Be aware that interventions from
numerous sources are the best approach to dealing with abusive relationships.
Be aware that each intervention increases the probability of a student’s leaving
an abusive relationship.
- Be aware that denial and distortion enable a person
to remain in an abusive relationship.
- Encourage the student to call the police
(893-3446) when rape or violence is involved.
- Consult with the police (893-3446)
when concerned about the student’s safety.
- Encourage the student to connect
with family, friends, or a support system.
- 1. Ignore or minimize the situation.
- Speak to the student in a derogatory manner.
- Lecture the student about his/her poor judgment.