Relationship Violence

Relationship Violence is also known as Domestic Violence or Intimate Partner Violence. According to the Office on Violence Against Women, Relationship Violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner or a former partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.


Relationship Violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

There are different types of Relationship Violence, such as, Physical, Sexual, Emotional, Economic, and Psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person.

This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.

Relationship Violence occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating.

Cycle of Violence

Just because a relationship is abusive, abuse may not occur at all times. Oftentimes, intimate relationships begin happy and healthy and then later take a turn for the worse. When things are good, they are generally very good, and when things are bad, they are very bad. The Cycle of Violence helps to demonstrate how violent behaviors change, develop, and even stop for a given time in an abusive relationship. Commonly, over time, the violence escalates in frequency and severity.

Follow this link to view/download the Cycle of Violence in PDF format.‌


Recognizing Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship

  • One partner feels pressured to make changes in their daily rituals
  • They retreat from things one once enjoyed
  • They begin to be isolated from friends/family
  • Their weight, appearance, grades changeVisible marks/bruises
  • They spend excessive amounts of time with the person they are dating or receive frequent phone calls/text messages from their partner
  • The person seems to fear partner, walk on eggshells around partner
  • They have to ask permission before taking part in an activity

What to do if You are in an Unhealthy Relationship

In an emergency, call 911 or local police department. Let someone know you are afraid or need help. When you go out, let someone know where you are going and when you should be back. Have money available for transportation if you need to take public transportation in order to escape. Seek confidential counseling from Counseling & Psychological Services. Know that unhealthy relationships often intensify over time and consider leaving the relationship now. Create a safety plan to escape in case an argument escalates and you feel unsafe. Call, text or chat with someone from a national organization like loveisrespect.org or Safe Horizon.

What is a Healthy Relationship?

  • Your individuality is appreciated by your partner.
  • You both contribute to decision making and equally compromise.
  • You are able to express wants, needs, feeling, and emotional issues with little or no shame.
  • Both partners are honest.
  • Both partners treat each other with respect.

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