By Tessa Fraser –
Twenty-one percent of college students report having experienced dating violence by a current partner. Women aged 16-24 also experience the highest per capita rate of intimate partner violence. Both of these statistics sound shocking, and no one ever wants to think that domestic violence happens on their college campus. However, due to a greater effort being put in by domestic violence shelters and outreach centers to draw awareness to subjects like domestic violence and intimate partner abuse, we are seeing awareness of abuse starting to rise. As a college student, it can sometimes be very hard to know if and when one is being abused (or even if one is being the abuser). The following, from womenshealth.gov, are warning signs that may signal an abusive relationship:
- Your partner monitors what you’re doing at all times.
It’s important to note that this includes requiring you to check in whenever you go to a different place, calling and texting over and over until they get a response, and calling the places you are at to make sure that you are where you say you are.
- He/she prevents you from seeing friends and family, or from going to school or work.
This can be done is small ways, such as complaining when you both go and see your family, when you hang out with your friends, tells you to choose between your partner or your family, and finds ways to make it so you’re unable to go to work or school.
- He/she controls how you spend your money.
This can include anything from making you second guess the purchases you are making, to telling you that you simply can’t buy the things you need or want. This is done in an effort to make you rely more on the other person.
- He/she threatens to hurt you or the important people in your life.
If when you do something your partner doesn’t like, the abuser threatens to hurt the people and things that are most important to you.This can be done through a large outburst or simple conversation. This often begins to happen as the abuse in the relationship escalates.
- He/she blames you for their violent outbursts.
The abuser believes if you hadn’t done certain things then they would have never had to yell, throw, or kick you. This kind of thought is used to lower the self esteem of the victim and to make the victim feel like they owe their abuser because they are causing their own abuse.
- He/she hurts you (physically or emotionally)
This is the clearest sign that one is being abused. It’s not going to happen only once, they aren’t sorry, and they know that what they are doing is wrong, but it won’t stop them. If your partner ever hits, beats, pushes, shoves, punches, slaps, kicks, or emotionally tears you down then you have every right to turn them in. No one ever deserves to be hurt.
If you or someone you know is being abused, but is to scared to talk to someone, locally call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800–799-SAFE (7233). This hotline helps to plan for a safe place for you to go if choosing to leave the situation, work out what exactly you’re experiencing, and much much more.