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University Counseling Center
The Victim of an Abusive Dating Relationship
Facts about abusive relationships
- Abusive relationships often involve a repeating pattern of verbal, sexual, emotional and physical abuse that increases over time.
Indicators of abusive relationships include:
- Verbal abuse
- Isolation from friends and family
- Fear of abandonment
- Fear of partner’s temper
- Fear of intimidation
- Acceptance of highly controlling behavior
- Assuming responsibility for partner’s abusive behavior
- Feeling trapped
- Fear of leaving the relationship
What You Can do:
- See the student in private
- Recognize that the student may be fearful and vulnerable.
- Remember that abusive relationships involve complex dynamics, including high levels of denial and, thus, are difficult to change.
- Be aware that interventions from a variety of sources increase the chances for change.
- Refer the student to the appropriate members of the community.
- Encourage the student to connect with family and friends.
- Downplay the situation.
- Lecture the student about poor judgment.
- Expect the student to make quick or make any changes.
- Pressure the student to follow any particular course of action.
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