Back to Col­lege Tips: Avoid­ing Dat­ing Abuse

The Avenue News - - NEWS -

On your way to col­lege or al­ready get­ting set­tled in? In ad­di­tion to Ra­men noo­dles, tow­els, and text­books, the Gov­er­nor’s Of­fice of Crime and Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion wants col­lege stu­dents to be pre­pared with some­thing else: in­for­ma­tion on how to spot dat­ing abuse or vi­o­lence and what to look for in a healthy re­la­tion­ship.

“The line be­tween love and abuse can some­times get blurred,” said GOCCP Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor V. Glenn Fue­ston, Jr. “We want to help stu­dents sort out which is which so that they will know the dif­fer­ence and have in­for­ma­tion needed to spot a ques­tion­able re­la­tion­ship.”

Dat­ing abuse, as de­fined by the Na­tional Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Hot­line, and their project loveis­re­spect, is a pat­tern of destruc­tive be­hav­iors used to ex­ert power and con­trol over a dat­ing part­ner. That pat­tern usu­ally in­volves a se­ries of abu­sive be­hav­iors over a course of time. The Hot­line has been on the front lines an­swer­ing more than 4 mil­lion calls from peo­ple af­fected by dat­ing abuse and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence since 1996.

Some of the Warn­ing Signs of Dat­ing Abuse:

• Checking your cell phone or email with­out per­mis­sion

• Con­stantly putting you down

• Ex­treme jeal­ousy or in­se­cu­rity

• Ex­plo­sive tem­per

• Iso­lat­ing you from fam­ily or friends

• Mak­ing false ac­cu­sa­tions

• Mood swings

• Phys­i­cally hurt­ing you in any way

• Posses­sive­ness

• Telling you what to do

• Pres­sur­ing or forc­ing you to have sex “Col­lege stu­dents are go­ing through such a tran­si­tional stage of life and for some, they are also ex­pe­ri­enc­ing in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ships for the first time,” said Katie Ray-Jones CEO of the Na­tional Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Hot­line and loveis­re­spect. “Stud­ies show one in three of these re­la­tion­ships con­tain some form of dat­ing abuse. When some­thing isn’t feel­ing right, we hope col­lege stu­dents will con­tact loveis­re­spect, where a trained ad­vo­cate is avail­able, night or day. We are just one call, text or chat away and avail­able as a con­fi­den­tial re­source for help 24/7.”

Loveis­re­spect pro­vides in­for­ma­tion and sup­port through on­line chat at loveis­re­spect.org, text (send loveis to 22522*) or by phone, 1-866-331-9474. “We ap­plaud the Gov­er­nor’s Of­fice of Crime and Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion as they raise aware­ness on col­lege cam­puses about dat­ing abuse and healthy re­la­tion­ships. Loveis­re­spect is here to help all who are af­fected by dat­ing abuse,” Ray-Jones con­tin­ued.

What is a Healthy Re­la­tion­ship?

Open, hon­est and safe com­mu­ni­ca­tion is a fun­da­men­tal part of a healthy re­la­tion­ship. The first step to build­ing a re­la­tion­ship is mak­ing sure you both un­der­stand each other’s needs and ex­pec­ta­tions. Be­ing on the same page is very im­por­tant. That means you have to talk to each other! The fol­low­ing tips can help you and your part­ner cre­ate and main­tain a healthy re­la­tion­ship:

Speak Up — In a healthy re­la­tion­ship, if some­thing is both­er­ing you, it’s best to talk about it in­stead of hold­ing it in.

Re­spect Each Other — Your part­ner’s wishes and feel­ings have value, and so do yours. Let your sig­nif­i­cant other know you are mak­ing an ef­fort to keep their ideas in mind. Mu­tual re­spect is es­sen­tial in main­tain­ing healthy re­la­tion­ships.

Com­pro­mise — Dis­agree­ments are a nat­u­ral part of healthy re­la­tion­ships, but it’s im­por­tant that you find a way to com­pro­mise if you dis­agree on some­thing. Try to solve con­flicts in a fair and ra­tio­nal way.

Be Sup­port­ive — Of­fer re­as­sur­ance and en­cour­age­ment to each other. Also, let your part­ner know when you need their sup­port. Healthy re­la­tion­ships are about build­ing each other up, not putting each other down.

Re­spect Each Other’s Pri­vacy — Just be­cause you’re in a re­la­tion­ship doesn’t mean you have to share ev­ery­thing and con­stantly be to­gether. Healthy re­la­tion­ships re­quire space.

Healthy Bound­aries — Cre­at­ing bound­aries is a good way to keep your re­la­tion­ship healthy and se­cure. By set­ting bound­aries to­gether, you can both have a deeper un­der­stand­ing of the type of re­la­tion­ship that you and your part­ner want. Bound­aries are not meant to make you feel trapped or like you’re “walk­ing on eggshells.” Cre­at­ing bound­aries is not a sign of se­crecy or dis­trust — it’s an ex­pres­sion of what makes you feel com­fort­able and what you would like or not like to hap­pen within the re­la­tion­ship.

Re­mem­ber, healthy bound­aries shouldn’t re­strict your abil­ity to:

• Go out with your friends with­out your part­ner.

• Par­tic­i­pate in ac­tiv­i­ties and hob­bies you like.

• Not have to share pass­words to your email, so­cial me­dia ac­counts or phone.

• Re­spect each other’s in­di­vid­ual likes and needs.

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