Dating and Domestic Violence

Dating and Domestic Violence 

(Benchmarked from an approved OVW wesbite)

Are you being abused?

  • Does your partner:
    • Embarrass you with put-downs?
    • Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
    • Control what you do, who you see, talk to, or where you go?
    • Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
    • Take your money, make you ask for money, or refuse to give you money?
    • Make all of the decisions?
    • Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children?
    • Prevent you from working or attending school?
    • Act like the abuse is no big deal, it’s your fault, or even deny doing it?
    • Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
    • Intimidate you with guns, knives, or other weapons?
    • Shove you, slap you, choke you, or hit you?
    • Force you to drop charges?
    • Threaten to commit suicide?
    • Threaten to kill you?

If you answered "yes" to even one of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship.

You may be in an emotionally abusive relationship if your partner:

  • Calls you names, insults you, or continually criticizes you.
  • Does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive.
  • Tries to isolate you from family or friends.
  • Monitors where you go, who you call, and who you spend time with.
  • Does not want you to work.
  • Controls finances or refuses to share money.
  • Punishes you by withholding affection.
  • Expects you to ask permission.
  • Threatens to hurt you, the children, your family, or your pets.
  • Humiliates you in any way.

You may be in a physically abusive relationship if your partner has ever:

  • Damaged property when angry (thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, etc.).
  • Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked, or choked you.
  • Abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place.
  • Scared you by driving recklessly.
  • Used a weapon to threaten or hurt you.
  • Forced you to leave your home.
  • Trapped you in your home or kept you from leaving.
  • Prevented you from calling police or seeking medical attention.
  • Hurt your children.
  • Used physical force in sexual situations.

You may be in a sexually abusive relationship if your partner:

  • Views women as objects and believes in rigid gender roles.
  • Accuses you of cheating or is often jealous of your outside relationships.
  • Wants you to dress in a sexual way.
  • Insults you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names.
  • Has ever forced or manipulated you into to having sex or performing sexual acts.
  • Held you down during sex.
  • Demanded sex when you were sick, tired, or after beating you.
  • Hurt you with weapons or objects during sex.
  • Involved other people in sexual activities with you.
  • Ignored your feelings regarding sex. 

What do to before, during, and after a violent incident

(Benchmarked from the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV))
  • Before:
    • Identify a neighbor you can tell about the violence and ask them to call the police if they hear a disturbance at your place of residence. Devise a code word or signal to use with family, friends, or neighbors when you need them to call the police.
    • Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, and extra clothes with someone you trust.
    • Decide where you will go if you leave your residence, even if right now you don’t think it will come to that. Find out if a friend or relative will let you stay with them or lend you money.
    • Keep a shelter’s hotline number close at hand and keep a calling card or change on you at all times.
    • Identify which door, window, stairwell, or elevator offers the quickest way out of your residence.
    • Pack a bag and have it ready to go in case you must leave. Keep the bag in a private but accessible place where you can grab it quickly. Take the following items: money, identification, important papers, clothing, keys, medications.
  • During:
    • If an argument starts, stay close to a room or area with easy access to an exit. Stay away from the bathroom, kitchen, or anywhere near weapons.
    • Get away. Try to get your packed bag on the way out, but if it’s too dangerous, just leave. Go to a relative, friend, or shelter.
    • Call 911 or local police.
    • Trust your judgment and intuition.
  • After:
    • Get medical attention immediately (if necessary). Ask the clinic to take pictures of the injuries.
    • Make a police report, even if you don’t want the abuser arrested. The report will become evidence of past abuse which might prove helpful in the future.
    • Save evidence, in case you decide to take legal action now or later. Evidence includes medical records and police reports, dated photos of injuries or the house in disarray, torn clothing, any weapons used, and statements from anyone who saw the attack.
    • Seek action to obtain an order of protection from domestic abuse. Call Victim Advocacy Services to help you navigate your way through this process.
    • Seek people who want to help you. Decide who you can talk openly with to receive the support you need. Victim Advocacy Services is on campus for ALL students, and can provide support.