Intimate Partner Violence
UD’s Sexual Misconduct Policy defines “Domestic Violence” and “Dating Violence” as “any act of violence, including but not limited to physical violencce, sexual assault and psychological violence…” Read the full definition at http://sites.udel.edu/sexualmisconduct/policies/.
At some point, most people think about or question how healthy their romantic relationship is. Check out the chart below, which provides a good contrast between relationships that are healthy and relationships that might be abusive. If you find that your relationship has even just one or two characteristics listed in the right-hand column, it may help you to talk to someone about your relationship. You may be in an unhealthy, or even abusive relationship.
Healthy relationships function based on mutual respect, trust, equality, honesty, and open communication. Both partners in a healthy relationship maintain their own separate identities, and both partners share in decision making. When basic respect is missing, abuse is more likely to occur. Relationships are abusive when they involve use of intimidation, coercion, pressure, manipulation, one person controlling the other, put-downs or name-calling, sexual assault, or physical violence.
|In a healthy relationship, you…||In an unhealthy relationship, you…|
|Communicate openly & honestly.||Are afraid of the other’s reaction or temper.|
|Feel physically & emotionally safe.||Feel threatened or like you are “walking on eggshells” around the other person.|
|Take interest in and support each other’s lives: goals, ideas, interests, friends, etc.||Discourage the other person’s goals, ideas, interests, friends, etc.|
|Permit and have privacy.||One tries to control the other: what they wear, who they spend time with, what they do, etc.|
|Trust one another.||Are overly jealous and possessive.|
|Feel valued and cared for.||One makes the other person feel badly about him/herself.|
|Treat each other with respect.||One puts the other person down, calls names.|
|Enjoy the time you spend together.||Feel afraid of the other person.|
|Can resolve conflicts in a non-abusive manner.||Make threats, throw objects, push, grab, hit, punch, push, slap, hold down, or otherwise harm the person..|
|Respect each other’s need for space.||Don’t allow the other person to leave during an argument.|
|Have outside friends.||Seeing other friends is discouraged.|
|Make decisions together.||Only one makes decisions; makes the other feel as though they can’t make sound decisions.|
|Participate in sexual activity by free choice.||One pressures the other to participate in sexual activity, or forces them against their will.|
|Both partners feel good about themselves and each other.||One partner feels manipulated by the other and feels badly about self.|
Learn more about various forms of relationship abuse from One Love Foundation, and from LoveIsRespect.
To learn more, talk about your relationship, or seek help:
- If you need emergency assistance, call 911 for police or ambulance.
- If you are in crisis and would like to talk with someone about your relationship, call S.O.S. 24 hours a day at 302-831-1001, and press 1 to be put in touch with an S.O.S. volunteer.
- To make an appointment with the Dating Violence Counselor or certified Victim Advocate at Student Wellness & Health Promotion during business hours, call 302-831-3457.
- If you are interested in the Healthy Relationships Support Group, make an appointment at Student Wellness, 302-831-3457.
- If your partner is abusive and you wish to seek the safety of a Domestic Violence shelter, call the Delaware Domestic Violence hotline at 302-762-6110. We also have Emergency Housing available on-campus. To access Emergency Housing, contact S.O.S. through our 24 hour service.
- Learn about services off-campus provided by Child, Inc. at 302-762-8989.
- If you are in an unhealthy relationship, it may be helpful to develop a Safety Plan, whether you plan to stay in the relationship or leave. For assistance in creating your plan, you can meet with a professional advocate/counselor at Student Wellness & Health Promotion who may be able to suggest details you didn’t consider. Call 831-3457 to set up an appointment. To get started, loveisrespect.org offers an Interactive Guide to Safety Planning or download the hard copy plan for college students.
- If you are the victim of Intimate Partner Violence or Domestic Violence, you may wish to apply for a Protection From Abuse Order (PFA), which would legally prohibit the perpetrator from coming into contact with you. You may apply for a PFA when intimate partner violence has occurred regardless of your relationship status: past or present partners; married or unmarried; living together or separately; teenagers, young adults, or older adult partners; share a child or not; or opposite-sex or same-sex partners. If you wish to obtain a PFA in New Castle County, Delaware, you need to go to Family Court to apply. There is an excellent Domestic Violence Advocacy Program providing assistance to victims through the court process to obtain a PFA. Call 302-255-0420 to reach DVAP.
- SAFETY ALERT: Computer use can be monitored and it is impossible to completely clear your history. If you are afraid that your internet usage might be monitored, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224.
Break the Cycle
Child, Inc. (Provides counseling, shelters, groups, parenting help, and information for teens and adults in Delaware regarding Intimate Partner Violence.)
Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence Coordinating Council
Love is Respect
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Red Flag Campaign (A Virginia resource to help you recognize unhealthy behaviors.)
Safe and Respectful Relationships for All (A Delaware resource about healthy relationships!)