Responding to Victims of Abusive Dating Relationships
Abusive relationships often involve a repeating pattern of verbal, sexual, emotional and physical abuse that increases over time.
Indicators of abusive relationships include:
- verbal abuse
- isolation from friends and family
- fear of abandonment
- fear of partner’s temper
- fear of intimidation
- acceptance of highly controlling behavior
- assuming responsibility for partner’s abusive behavior
- feeling trapped
- fear of leaving the relationship
- See the student in private.
- Recognize that the student may be fearful and vulnerable.
- Remember that abusive relationships involve complex dynamics, including high levels of denial and, thus, are difficult to change.
- Be aware that interventions from a variety of sources increase the chances for change.
- Refer the student to the Counseling Center for confidential help: (301) 314-7651.
- Encourage the student to connect with trusted family members and friends.
- Advise the student that Campus Police should be called in cases of rape or violence: (301) 405-3333.
- Consult the website of the University’s Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct for information regarding reporting policies and procedures.
- Downplaying the situation.
- Lecturing the student about poor judgment.
- Expecting the student to make quick changes.