Dating and forming romantic relationships can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of college. Healthy relationships promote a sense of personal joy, well-being, a feeling of connectedness, and personal growth.

Unfortunately, however, there is increasing evidence suggesting that some romantic relationships on college campuses involve physical and/or emotional violence and abuse.

You are not alone. It is not your fault. Help is available.

What is Relationship Violence?

Relationship Violence is one person using a pattern of behaviors to control the other person with whom they are involved in any type of relationship (romantic, roommate, friend, family, etc.).

Anyone can be a victim of relationship violence, and often people who are in abusive relationships do not view themselves as victims and their abusers do not see themselves as being abusive. People often view relationship violence as physical violence, such as hitting. However, relationship violence can take on many forms, such as psychological, emotional, financial, or sexual abuse.

Warning signs of an abusive relationship

Your partner:

  • tries to control and manipulate you
  • is critical of you and various aspects of how you choose to live your life
  • calls you names, curses and/or yells at you
  • makes you feel bad about yourself
  • publicly humiliates you
  • uses physical violence toward you (e.g. pushes, hit, bites, kicks, punches, and/or grabs you)
  • insists on knowing where you are at all times
  • tries to physically prevent you from going where you want to go
  • is critical of your friends and family and/or voices resentment when you spend time with them
  • has rules for various aspects of your behavior (e.g. eating, dress, or activities)
  • is jealous and possessive (e.g. becomes angry when you pay attention or even look at other people)
  • blames you for their abusive/violent behavior
  • coerces or manipulates you to behave in certain ways or engage in sexual behavior
  • threatens suicide if you do something (e.g. end the relationship)

You may:

  • sometimes feel like you are “walking on eggshells” around your partner
  • be afraid to tell your partner some things
  • be afraid of your partner’s temper
  • have friends and family that dislike your partner and urge you to end the relationship


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