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Abusive Relationships

Abusive relationships can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender or sexual preference. The longer a relationship continues, the better chance of increased emotional, sexual and physical abuse.

Signs of an abusive relationship are:

Verbal abuse; isolation from friends and loved ones; fear of the partner’s temper; fear of abandonment by the partner; accepting the partner’s controlling behavior; fear of intimidation; the distortion of the partner’s hurtful behavior; assuming responsibility for the partner’s abusive behavior; feeling trapped; and fear of leaving. Some abusive relationships include behaviors in violation of campus regulations and/or state laws.

  • If you believe you are in an abusive relationship:

    1. Seek assistance. The following resources are available to help you.

    2. Submit a CARE Report.

    Submit a CARE Report

  • When you know someone is in an abusive relationship:

    1. Speak with the person in private if possible.


    • Understand they may be feeling vulnerable and fearful.
    • Be supportive. Being a victim of an abusive relationship involves many psychological factors.
    • Be aware that interventions from different sources work best in dealing with abusive relationships.
    • Know that each intervention increases the probability of someone leaving an abusive relationship.
    • Be aware that denial and distortion enable a person to stay in an abusive relationship, creating serious risk to a person’s safety.
    • Encourage the person to connect with family, friends or other support systems (e.g., victims’ advocacy, police services).


    • Ignore or minimize the situation.
    • Speak to the person in a derogatory manner.
    • Lecture the person about their poor judgment.
    • Give advice. You don’t know the whole story. You don’t want the abuse to escalate.
    • Attack the abuser as a person, but talk about concerning behaviors.

    2. Recommend or contact the following Campus Resources.

    3. Submit a CARE Report.

    Submit a CARE Report