Intimate Partner Violence on College Campuses
Information for Parents
Intimate partner violence (IPV) can include multiple forms of abuse including unwanted physical contact, sexual abuse, and/or psychological manipulation. IPV is widespread resulting in about 1 in 3 young women victimized by interpersonal violence and 42% of stalking incidents reported by college women are perpetrated by a current or former intimate partner. Furthermore, almost 80% of females report experiencing at least one incident of physical of sexual aggression by the end of college. College students face unique obstacles when faced with IPV due to living arrangements and school procedures. For instance, it can be difficult to avoid harassment and stalking if an abuser and victim live in the same residence hall and students may feel isolated on their campus because they are away from home and their family and friends.
Technology and Intimate Partner Violence
Young adults frequently communicate with one another by means of cell phones, email, and social media sites. Since technology provides quick, constant access to people, it is often used as a tool for abuse and a means to establish power and control that is easier to hide than physical violence and verbal assaults.
Examples of abusive behavior:
- Pinching, grabbing, shoving, punching, kicking, restraining, hitting or hair pulling, biting, scratching
- Pressuring or forcing a partner into unwanted sexual activity in person or via social media and texting
- Making it difficult or impossible for a partner to say no to sexual activity or behavior
- Preventing a partner from effectively using birth control or other forms of contraception
- Impersonating a partner online or publically posting negative comments about a partner
- Frequently emailing, texting, messaging, or calling about the location or activity of a partner
Psychological/Threats and Intimidation
- Threatening to leave or hurt a partner, themselves, a partner’s family, friends, or pets
- Controlling whom a partner is allowed to see or telling a partner what they can or cannot do
- Yelling, screaming, insulting, intimidating, embarrassing or spreading rumors about a partner
- Minimizing, denying, or blaming a partner for any abuse
How to Help:
- Be patient, talking about the abuse may take time.
- Remind the victim that the abuse is not their fault, that you support them, and that they are not alone.
- Encourage them to call the police if necessary, obtain an Order of Protection or talk to a Domestic Violence specialist in your area, and offer to accompany them during the process.
- Help them create a safety plan so they know what to do in case of future incidents.
- Encourage your son/daughter to reach out to their college’s wellness/health center if they feel comfortable.
- Be supportive. A victim may break up with and go back to an abusive partner many times.
- Understand that a victim of abuse is the expert in their situation; help with choices they make for their safety instead of giving advice about what they should do, but ultimately do everything in your power to keep your son/daughter safe.
For More Information:
- Day One- Tips for Caregivers
- Love is Respect- Help your child fact sheet
- Respect Love- Advice for Parents
- iPhone App- Love is Not Abuse App for parents
Helplines and Online Chat Available 24 Hours a Day/7 Days a Week
- New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline 1.800.942.6906
- National Domestic Violence Hotline 1.800.799.7233
- National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline 1.866.331.9474 TTD/TTY-1.866.331.8453
- Love is Respect Peer Advocates 1.866.331.9474 or Text “loveis” to 22522
- Love is Respect Online Chat