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Column: What you should know about domestic violence

by Hazen Prevention and Outreach Services
Tue, Oct 3rd 2017 06:00 pm
Photo taken from Shaw Air Force Base
Relationships almost never start out as abusive, otherwise no one would stay in them. However, abusers have a process that can be recognized before it gets to the point of physical abuse.
Photo taken from Shaw Air Force Base Relationships almost never start out as abusive, otherwise no one would stay in them. However, abusers have a process that can be recognized before it gets to the point of physical abuse.

Does anyone ever seek out an unhealthy or dangerous relationship? Of course not! We obviously think the people we choose to date are great or we wouldn’t want to get into the relationship to begin with. Nobody ever jumps into a relationship with another person if they expect to be unhappy or feel unsafe. 

According to breakthecycle.org, one in three college aged students will experience some form of dating violence. Sixty percent of acquaintance rapes on college campuses occur in casual or steady dating relationships. Nearly one in three college students report having physically assaulted a dating partner in the previous 12 months and approximately 90 percent of victims of sexual assault on college campuses know their attacker. 

Dating violence on college campuses is a serious concern. For many students, it is the first time they do not have to answer to parents. They are trying to fit into a new dating scene. They are figuring out how to balance classes, work, sports, and friends. By the time a person realizes they are in a dangerous relationship, it is really hard to escape it. 

Abusers often create obstacles for their victims to prevent them from seeking help, such as isolating them from their friends and family. Other obstacles include a lack of resources on campus, fear of their parents finding out about the abuse or fear of their partner. Some victims may not even define their experience as abuse. 

According to breakthecycle.org, 58 percent of college students do not know how to help someone who is experiencing dating abuse, and 89 percent are not confident in their ability to recognize the warning signs. 

Potential signs that your partner is an abuser include an attempt to isolate you, obsessive calls or texts from them, name calling, pressuring you into doing things you’re not comfortable with and checking your phone or your social media account. 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. Be on the lookout for awareness and advocacy events throughout the month that brings awareness to different ways domestic violence affects individuals from all walks of life. 

The Center for Select Respect, Prevention and Outreach Services, and other organizations on campus are hosting events this month to educate students on domestic violence. They will provide opportunities for students to volunteer and become advocates, to empower victims, survivors and our campus community, and to send the clear message that disrespect at any level is not accepted at The College at Brockport. 

Taking a stand during Domestic Violence Prevention and Awareness Month is a great way to let your friends know that you are supportive and an ally. You should feel empowered to step up and step in if you are concerned your friend’s relationship is escalating from unhealthy to dangerous. 

We at Brockport value diversity in our community. It is important that our awareness activities and outreach events respect and reflect that commitment and realize that every situation is unique, which is why a variety of support is available for individuals coping with their own realities. 

Events from Prevention and Outreach Services and The Center for Select Respect/Center for Women and Gender throughout the month will focus on domestic violence and the many forms it can take. Every case of domestic and dating violence is unique, but students can feel empowered to recognize the signs and seek support. Underrepresented demographics tend to have a higher likelihood of going unreported. 

Awareness months aim to shine light on issues that individuals face every day. Domestic violence does not discriminate and is 100 percent preventable. We all have the ability to empower ourselves to step up and step in should a situation or relationship have the potential to become dangerous, risky, unhealthy or harmful. Connect with Prevention & Outreach Services or The Center for Select Respect at any of our events or our offices for any questions you may have on the topic or other health related topics. 

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