Relationship Violence

There’s No Excuse for Relationship Violence

If you or someone you know is the victim of relationship violence, there are resources available at UU to help. Make the decision to break the cycle and take advantage of our professional and confidential services.

Get The Help You Need

Dating Violence

Dating violence is when one person purposely hurts or scares someone they are dating. Dating violence happens to people of all races, cultures, incomes and education levels. It can happen on a first date, or when you are deeply in love. It can happen whether you are young or old, and in heterosexual or same-sex relationships. Dating violence is always wrong, and you can get help.

 

Dating violence includes:

  • Physical abuse like hitting, shoving, kicking, biting or throwing things.
  • Emotional abuse like yelling, name-calling, bullying, embarrassing, keeping you away from your friends, saying you deserve the abuse or giving gifts to "make up" for the abuse.
  • Sexual abuse like forcing you to do something sexual (such as kissing or touching) or doing something sexual when you cannot agree to it (like when you are very drunk).

Dating violence often starts with emotional abuse. You may think that behaviors like calling you names or insisting on seeing you all the time are a "normal" part of relationships. But they can lead to more serious kinds of abuse, like hitting, stalking or preventing you from using birth control.

Dating violence can cause serious harm to your body and your emotions. If you are in an abusive relationship, get help.

 

Ways To Prevent Dating Violence:

  • Consider double dates or being with a group when first going out.
  • When going out, let a friend or parent know when you will be back. Tell your date that you have done this so he/she will acknowledge someone is expecting you back at a certain time.
  • Be assertive and direct. Be able to be straightforward about what you want, like or dislike in a relationship. Having these goals or plans will help create a positive outlook on the relationship.

 

Warning Signs:

  • Controlling
  • Bad tempered/easily angered
  • Isolates you from your friends or family
  • Blames others for his/her problems
  • Threatens force or violence
  • Uses force during arguments
  • Verbally abusive
  • Constantly texting or sending instant messages (IMs) to monitor you
  • Insisting on getting serious very quickly
  • Acting very jealous or bossy
  • Pressuring you to do sexual things
  • Posting sexual photos of you online without permission
  • Threatening to hurt you or themselves if you break up
  • Blaming you for the abuse

 

Is Your Relationship Unhealthy? Ask Yourself These Questions:

Answering “yes” to these questions is a definite sign of an unhealthy relationship. (Provided by Network for Battered Women.)

  • Are you afraid of your partner?
  • Does your partner choose who you hang out with?
  • Is your partner making decisions for you?
  • Does your partner humiliate you?
  • Has your partner’s jealousy limited your independence?
  • Has your partner ever kicked or punched or slapped you?
  • Are you afraid your partner may do these things?

 

Ending An Abusive Relationship

If you are thinking of ending your relationship, consider these safety tips:

  • If you don’t feel safe, don’t break up in person. It may seem cruel to break up over the phone or by email, but these ways can provide you the distance needed to stay safe.
  • If you decide to break up in person, consider doing it in a public place. Take a cell phone with you if possible.
  • Don’t try to explain your reasons for ending the relationship more than once. There is nothing you can say that will make your ex happy about the break up.
  • Let your friends and parents know you are ending your relationship, especially if you think your ex will come to your house or try to get you alone.
  • If your ex tries to come to your house when you’re alone, don’t go to the door.
  • Trust yourself. If you feel afraid, you probably have a good reason.

 

Help Is Available

  • Turn to someone you can trust such as a professor, family member, friend, counselor or a nurse at health services. These resources are here to specifically help you. If you decide to tell any of these members, they are legally required to report neglect or abuse to the police.
  • Contact the Support Network for Battered Women’s 24-hour hotline (1-800-572-2782).

 

Helping Someone Else

If you know someone who might be in an abusive relationship:

  • Tell them you are worried.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Ask how you can help them seek help.
Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is legally defined as when spouses or intimate partners use physical violence, threats, emotional abuse, harassment or stalking to control the behavior of their partners. Domestic Violence IS a crime, a learned behavior, and IS a choice.

 

Questions To Ask

Think about the following questions to distinguish whether you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence:

  • Has your partner or spouse ever hurt or threatened you or your children?
  • Has your partner or spouse ever hurt your pets, broken objects in your home or destroyed something that you especially cared about?
  • Does your partner or spouse throw or break objects in the home during arguments?
  • Does your partner or spouse act jealously, for example, always calling you at work or home to check up on you?
  • Does your partner or spouse accuse you of flirting with others or having affairs?
  • Does your spouse or partner make it hard for you to find or keep a job or to go to school?
  • Does your partner ever force you to have sex when you wish not to, or make you do things during sex that you do not want to?

 

Getting Out Of Domestic Violence

  • Call Support Network for Battered Women (1-800-572-2782) or National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-787-3224). Ask for the nearest shelter and how to get there.
  • Call family and friends and see if they would be willing to provide transportation, shelter or anything else you may need.
  • If you are unable to stay with family or friends, choose a hotel/motel in which you can stay. Find out the quickest way there.
  • Also know that police stations, fire stations and hospitals are always a safe place to go. Make sure to know the fastest way to get there.

 

Eliminating Domestic Violence

  • Know what domestic violence is. When a spouse or intimate partner uses physical violence, threats, emotional abuse, harassment or stalking to control the behavior of their partners, they are committing domestic violence
  • Develop a safety plan. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted or is in an abusive relationship, there are things to consider when thinking about safety. It may be helpful to create a safety plan or to think about some ways to stay and feel safer.
  • Call 911. Domestic violence is a crime. If you or someone you know is being battered, call 911 for immediately for help.
  • Exercise your rights. You and anyone you know who may be experiencing domestic violence have the right to go to court and petition for an order of protection.
  • Get help for you (and/or you and your family).

 
There are many shelters dedicated to victims of domestic violence. Be sure to call the Network for Battered Women (1-800-572-2782) to find the closest location near you. If you do not choose a shelter, call the crisis hotline to assist you. They exist specifically to help you. Things to think about when creating a safety plan:

 

How To Get Away In An Emergency

  • Be conscious of exits or other escape routes
  • Think about options for transportation (car, bus, train, etc.)

 

Who Can Help

  • Friends, family
  • Support centers if there are any in your area
  • Campus safety or local police
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, or if you are in a dating or domestic violence situation, the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1.800.799.SAFE (7233)

 

Where To Go

  • Friend’s dorm room or apartment
  • Relative’s house
  • A domestic violence or homeless shelter (If there are not any domestic violence shelters in your area, and you are contemplating leaving the town, you may want to consider going to a homeless shelter.)
  • The police or campus safety (even if campus safety knows both you and the perpetrator — they are still responsible for doing their jobs.)

Important Safety Note: If the dangerous situation involves a partner, go to the police or a shelter first.

 

What To Bring

  • Important papers and documents: birth certificate, social security card, license, passport, medical records, bills, etc.
  • House or dorm room keys, car keys, cash, credit cards, medicine, important numbers, cell phone
  • Keep all of these things in an emergency bag
  • Hide the bag — best if not in house or car
  • If the bag is discovered, can call it a “hurricane,” “tornado” or “fire” bag
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