A pattern of controlling behavior with a current or former partner (dating relationships, domestic relationships, same-sex and opposite sex relationships). It can include emotional, sexual, verbal, or physical threats of violence.
Signs that it could be intimate partner violence:
- Constantly blames their boyfriend or girlfriend for everything, including their own abusive behavior/temper
- Makes mean and degrading comments about a partner’s appearance, beliefs or accomplishments
- Controls money and time
- Shows extreme jealousy
- Loses their temper
- Physically and/or sexually assaults another
The other person:
- Gives up things that are important to them
- Cancels plans with friends to appease the other person
- Becomes isolated from family or friends
- Worries about making their significant other angry
- Shows signs of physical abuse like bruises or cuts
- Feels embarrassed or ashamed about what is going on in their relationship
- Consistently makes excuses for their significant other’s behavior
Experiencing intimate partner violence can be a serious and frightening experience. The threat of repeated danger can be extremely upsetting. Here is a list of common feelings and reactions that survivors of intimate partner violence have reported:
- Difficulty concentrating, sleeping, or remembering things
This can include things such as changing your routine, arranging a place to stay and talking through scenarios to address encountering the abusive person: what to do if he or she shows up at your home, work, school, etc. Tell the people around you how they can help you if such an event happens – even consider showing them a picture and giving identifying information.
Other things you can do:
Trust your instincts. Sometimes you may want to ignore what’s happening, or to downplay and minimize the situation. The fact that you are uncomfortable or afraid is enough to take action to be safer.
Take threats seriously, even though it may be hard to believe someone would actually hurt you. Danger is usually higher when the abuser talks about suicide or homicide. Attempt to leave or end the relationship can also increase the likelihood of a dangerous event. It is important to develop a safety plan prior to leaving the relationship, if possible.
Start a log/journal/calendar of abusive behavior. Write down the time, date and place of each incident, if there were any witnesses, what exactly happened, and how it made you feel.
Keep evidence of abuse. Save emails, texts, voicemails, letters, notes, etc. Photograph anything of yours that the abuser damages and any injuries that the abuser causes. If there are any witnesses, ask him or her to document what they saw.
Contact the Student Life Office | (740) 364-9578
Contact a 24-hour hotline. Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio (SARNCO) (614) 267-7020
Visit Survivors and Co-Survivors for more information on how to help a friend.