University of Vermont

Division of Student Affairs
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Health and Safety

Abusive Dating Relationships

Domestic abuse and violence are an epidemic of national scope, reaching across all segments of society, regardless of socio-economic, racial, gender, sexual orientation, cultural background, age, and other characteristics or lifestyle factors. In addition to the impact these forms of abuse and violence have upon the private lives of members of the University community, they also affect the safety of campus and the quality of the work that students can perform when at risk of, or experiencing, physical and/or emotional abuse.

Only one in twenty-five adolescent victims seeks professional help. Abusive relationships often involve a pattern of repeated verbal, sexual, emotional, and physical abuse that escalates the longer the relationship continues. Some of the indicators 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 the abusive partner. When you become aware that student may be in an abusive relationship:

DO

  1. When possible, see the student in private.
  2. Be aware that the student may be feeling vulnerable and fearful
  3. Be supportive of the student and aware that being a victim of an abusive relationship involves many psychological factors.
  4. Refer the victim to the Victim’s Advocate, located in the Women’s Center (656-7892).
  5. Refer the victim to Counseling and Psychiatry Services (CAPS, 656-3340)
  6. Be aware that each intervention increases the probability of a student’s leaving an abusive relationship.
  7. Encourage the student to call the police (656-3473) when rape or violence is involved.
  8. Consult with police (656-3473) when concerned about the student’s safety.
  9. Encourage the student to connect with family, friends or a support system.
  10. If you are a University Reporting Official (e.g. mandated reporter), you must call Police to report any crime of a sexual or violent act.

DON’T

  1. Ignore or minimize the situation. Student may actually be at risk of harm.
  2. Speak to the student in a derogatory manner.
  3. Lecture the student about poor judgment.

Reporting Procedures

Reporting threats to the campus and individual students, staff, or faculty, including apparent violations of this Domestic Abuse and Violence Policy, is important to the preservation of safety. The University thus urges persons who believe that an imminent threat to physical safety of self or others exists or that a crime has occurred to contact Police Services on an emergency basis (Dial 911).  

In a non-emergency situation, a student or employee who wishes to file a complaint regarding a perceived violation of this Policy may proceed as follows:

  • Complaint against a UVM Student: contact UVM Police Services (656-3340).

Last modified August 18 2014 12:04 PM