Tips to Teach New Students to Recognize Domestic Violence at College
Sadly, domestic violence remains a serious problem throughout the United States. In fact, approximately 30 percent of women and 10 percent of men report having been the victim of at least one incident of serious intimate partner violence in the past, according to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Intimate partner abuse starts young: Abusive relationships in college are far too common. In fact, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) reports that women between the ages of 18 and 24 are at the highest risk of being victims of domestic abuse. Here, we have put together a list of tips to help new college students recognize domestic violence so that they can take action to put a stop to it.
1. Understand the Warning Signs of Abusive Relationships in College
Everyone deserves to be in a healthy relationship with a person who is responsive to their needs and looks out for their best interests. Too many people get stuck in abusive relationships that grow worse and worse over time. Before starting college, you should know the common warning signs of an abusive relationship. Break the Cycle, a leading nonprofit organization that provides dating abuse advice and programs to young people, highlights the following conduct as common warning signs of an abusive relationship:
- Extreme jealousy or possessiveness
- A partner going through your phone or social media accounts
- Attempting to control your time or behavior
- Isolating you from friends and family
- Controlling how you dress
- Making you feel like you are “walking on eggshells’’
- Intense mood swings
- Threats of violence
- Breaking or throwing things
- Verbal intimidation
- Physical violence
Of course, it should be noted that domestic violence does not always come with a warning. It can happen to anybody, so it is important that we all remain vigilant.
2. Make a Dating Safety Plan
New college students should always make a dating safety plan. This plan is a preventive measure to help you get yourself out of an uncomfortable or truly dangerous situation. A proper dating safety plan must be both practical and specific. You need to know who you can call and how you can escape from any situation.
3. Know the College Guidelines on Domestic Violence
To receive federal funding, colleges and universities are required to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. One requirement of this federal law is that colleges must take action to combat gender-based violence and harassment. If you are dealing with domestic violence, your university should have resources available so that you can take action and get immediate assistance.
4. Reach Out to Your Guidance Counselor
Finally, if you are in an abusive relationship, or if you believe that your friend is in such a relationship, you need to take action. Depending on the circumstances, you may even need to contact the police or other emergency personnel. If you are unsure of exactly what you should do, the best place to start is often with your college guidance counselor. Your guidance counselor should be able to put you in touch with the appropriate resources for the situation you are facing.
Of course, beyond contacting a guidance counselor, you may wish to reach out to an attorney as well to discuss your options for moving forward. The skilled attorneys at Charles R. Ullman & Associates have experience assisting domestic violence victims, and we are ready to go to work on your behalf today.