Intimate Partner Violence on College Campuses
Information for Students
If your current or previous partner is making you feel uncomfortable or doing things that don’t feel okay, you are not alone. Verbal, physical, and sexual violence are common in young adult relationships, but no one deserves to be treated poorly and there are ways to get help. This guide includes some information about what behaviors are considered abusive during a relationship. If any of these scenarios sound familiar, you may want to consider telling someone you trust or contacting one of the helplines listed at the bottom of this guide. Intimate partner violence is a serious problem; if you think you’re being abused, know that you don’t deserve it and there are people who can help.
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
Signs you may be in a relationship with an abusive partner:
- Physically or sexually touches you against your will or hurts you in any way
- Verbally degrades, threatens, or intimidates you
- Tells you not to talk to anyone about the abusive behavior; threatens to hurt you and/or anyone you reach out to for help
- Has a reputation for controlling and abusing past partners
- Reads your text messages, emails, or social media messages without permission
- Attempts to control what you wear, where you go, or who you see
- Demonstrates extreme jealousy and/or checks in on you frequently
- Has extreme mood swings, acting angry one minute and sweet the next
- Tries to control your social media, like who you can be friends with or linked to on Facebook
- Blames you for their problems
- Doesn’t allow you to spend time with other people
- Questions how and where you spend money, or takes your money and refuses to give it back
- Feel like you’re walking on eggshells around your partner, and the smallest thing can set them off
- Feel afraid to not respond to a text message or call from your partner
- Hide bruises or injuries your partner inflicted
- Feel you have to constantly apologize for your partner’s behavior
- Regularly avoid or make excuses to others who express concern about your safety within the relationship
- Avoid people or places because your partner has told you to do so
- Feel depressed or anxious at the thought of seeing or hearing from your partner
- Change the way you dress, the food you eat, how much you weigh, or anything else about your physical appearance because your partner has told you to do so
- Change short- and long-term plans to be with your partner because you feel obligated or afraid not to
What can you do if you think you are in a relationship with an abusive partner?
If you think you might be in a relationship with someone who is abusing you in any way, you can:
- Reach out to someone you trust – a friend, an instructor/professor, a parent, a club leader or coach.
- Contact a local victim service provider, victim advocates group on campus, a resident assistant, campus health services, or campus security to discuss what your community and campus can do to help you.
- Create a safety plan and think about discussing it with someone you trust, whether you are still in a relationship with your partner or have broken up.
- Know your rights for Orders of Protection by contacting one of the Love is Respect helplines listed below. You can get an order of protection from Family Court if you are (or have been) in an intimate relationship with the abuser.
- Call, text, or online chat one of the helplines listed below.
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
- La Línea Nacional Sobre la Violencia Doméstica al 1.800.799.7233 or TTY 1.800.787.3224