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Promoting healthy relationships

Topics

  1. What is a healthy relationship?
  2. What are unhealthy relationships?
  3. Are you being stalked?
  4. Are you being abusive towards your partner?
  5. Do you know someone who is in an unhealthy relationship?
  6. How do you talk to someone who is in distress about an unhealthy relationship?
  7. Statistics about sexual assault
  8. Healthy relationship resources and contacts

What is a healthy relationship?

Healthy relationships are characterized by mutual respect, caring, support, growth, and independence. Couples share a balance of power and control and have an equal say in decision making. It’s OK to disagree.

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What are unhealthy relationships?

If you have questions or concerns about your own relationship or a friend’s relationship, please seek out help for support and advice. Dating/relationship violence, stalking, and sexual assault are prohibited by the University’s Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment, and support is available to help you be safe.

In unhealthy relationships, an imbalance of power can result in verbal abuse, emotional control, physical violence, and sexual assault. Before the obvious signs of violence even begin, one partner may be isolated due to the other partner’s jealousy and attempts to exert power over all aspects of a person’s life through threats and intimidation. Alcohol and drugs can also exacerbate abuse in a relationship.

Are any of these statements true?

  • You are afraid of your partner's temper.
  • You agree with your partner because you are afraid to disagree.
  • Your partner is frequently in trouble and needs or demands rescuing.
  • You find yourself apologizing for your partner’s behavior.
  • You have been hit, kicked, shoved, or had things thrown at you by your partner.
  • The abuse is increasing in severity or frequency.
  • Your partner is frequently jealous or angry.
  • Your partner controls your plans and decisions about activities and friends.
  • You or your partner drink heavily or use drugs.
  • You have been abused.
  • Your partner treats you badly or embarrasses you in front of your family or friends.
  • You agree to have sex even when you don’t want to.
  • Your partner follows you wherever you go.
  • You believe your partner is capable of hurting you.
  • Your partner has threatened to hurt you.
  • Your partner has threatened suicide if you end the relationship.
  • You are feeling suicidal.

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Are you being stalked?

While these behaviors may have been flattering at the beginning of the relationship, they can turn dangerous. Get help if someone does the following:

  • Repeatedly call you or send you unwanted text messages, emails, or other means of electronic or written communication, even though you have asked that person to stop?
  • Follow you, spy on you, or ask friends to report on your behavior or activities?
  • Show up unexpectedly at a place he or she has no reason to be?
  • Wait for you in the hallway, outside of your residence hall, place of work, in the parking lot, or wherever you go?
  • Send you unwanted items, presents, messages, or flowers?
  • Post information or spread rumors about you in public places, by word of mouth, or on the Internet.

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Are you being abusive towards your partner?

If you are behaving in an abusive or violent manner toward your partner, we are worried about you, too. There are many causes for this behavior, and we can help you understand the underlying issues and help you have a safer relationship.

You may be behaving in an abusive or violent manner toward your partner if you identify with any of these items:

  • You are jealous.
  • You sulk when you are upset.
  • You have an explosive temper.
  • You criticize and put your partner down.
  • You have difficulty expressing your feelings.
  • You drink heavily or use drugs.
  • You are overly protective of your partner to the point of being controlling.
  • You feel you must manage your partner’s behavior, choice of friends, and decisions.
  • You have broken things, thrown things at your partner, hit, shoved, sexually assaulted, or kicked your partner.
  • You think you need to know where your current or past partner is 100 percent of the time.
  • Sometimes you are so overwhelmed, you feel suicidal.

If you answered yes to any of these statements, consider talking with someone about your concerns. Help is available.

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Do you know someone who is in an unhealthy relationship?

  • Offer to learn what resources are available on campus and in the community so that your friend can begin to locate the help and support he or she needs.
  • Be honest about your view of the unhealthy behavior you have observed.
  • Point out that the person who is physically hurting someone else is 100 percent responsible for his or her violent behavior.
  • Focus on the behavior, not on the excuses made for the behavior.
  • Allow the victim to choose his or her exit strategy very carefully. Make it clear you are willing to help when he or she is ready to end the relationship.
  • Remember that your role is to be a caring person who is there to listen and offer support to your friend. Don’t manage or determine the outcome of the relationship.
  • If your friend returns to the relationship, ask your friend to stay alert to the danger signs in this brochure.

When in doubt: Call 911

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How do you talk to someone who is in distress about an unhealthy relationship?

  • Address safety and health issues first.
  • Listen rather than offer advice.
  • Avoid ultimatums; they can create additional pressure in an already intense or difficult situation and alienate you from your friend.
  • Do not excuse someone else’s inappropriate behavior.
  • Provide factual information that can serve as a reality check for your friend.
  • Help your friend contact the resources listed here.

Supporting someone in an unhealthy relationship can be very draining. Seek additional help and advice on how to help your friend from a Residential Life staff member, a University Counseling Center counselor, or University Security Services.

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Statistics about sexual assault

  • Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.
  • 80 percent are under age 30.
  • About 80 to 90 percent of sexual assaults reported, the victim and assailant know each other; and the more intimate the relationship, the more likely it is for the rape to be completed.
  • One out of 5 college women will be the victim of a sexual assault during her academic career. Source: Rainn.org.

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Healthy relationship resources and contacts

Where can I go for help?

On Campus

PlaceContact
University Counseling Center (UCC)585-275-3113
University Health Services (UHS)
Eastman School
585-274-1230
University Health Services (UHS)
Health Promotion Office
585-275-2662
University Health Services (UHS)
River Campus
585-275-2662
Center for Student Conflict Management585-275-4085
Title IX Coordinator585-275-7814
University Director of Spiritual Life585-275-8422
University Intercessor585-275-9125
The CARE Network

Community Contacts

PlaceContact
Alternatives for Battered Women Crisis Line585-232-7353
Deaf Hotline TTY585-232-2854
Family Court Domestic Violence Hotline585-428-5787
Gay Alliance Victim Resource585-244-8640
Lifeline585-275-5151 or 211
Domestic Violence Consortium585-428-2215
Health Dept. STD/HIV Clinic585-753-5375
Sheriff's Victim Assistance Office585-753-4389
RESTORE585-546-2777
Rochester Police Department
Emergency
911
Rochester Police Department
Victim Assistance
585-428-6630
SAATHI585-234-1050

Local Online Resources

  • RESTORE
  • Alternatives for Battered Women (ABW)
  • Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley (GAGV)

State and National Online Resources

  • New York State Coalition against Sexual Assault
  • Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)
  • National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC)

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