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Intimate partner violence, also referred to as dating/domestic violence or relationship violence, is prohibited at Curry College. As a community, we must strive to prevent and respond to intimate partner violence, because these incidents affect all members of our community. These incidents can happen to anyone, regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or any other identity. These incidents harm not only the person who experiences them, but also friends, family, and other community members.
This section of our website provides information on definitions, signs of healthy and harmful relationships, safety planning strategies for leaving or staying in abusive relationships, and why this issue is important at Curry College.
Other areas of this website address resources (including confidential resources), sexual harassment/assault, stalking, and reporting incidents. While this web space offers specialized information and resources on these behaviors, we know that sexual harassment/assault, intimate partner violence, and stalking often occur together. Because all of these behaviors may occur within one relationship, we encourage you to browse the website thoroughly and use whatever resources and information seem most appropriate to a particular situation.
The definitions provided here reflect those in the Curry College Student Handbook. Different definitions may apply for law enforcement purposes, in different jurisdictions, and at other colleges and universities.
Intimate Partner Violence
Physical violence, coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation, stalking, or other forms of emotional, sexual, or economic abuse is prohibited, including but not limited to those directed towards an intimate partner. Such violence can be a single act or a pattern of behavior.
Intimate partner relationships are defined as short or long-term relationships (current or former) between persons intended to provide some emotional and/or romantic physical intimacy. Domestic violence and dating violence may also constitute forms of intimate partner violence and are prohibited by the College. Dating violence includes violence by a person who has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complaining party.
The existence of such relationship is determined by its length, its type, and frequency of interaction of persons involved in the relationship. Domestic violence includes acts that may constitute violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim's current or former spouse, cohabitant, or a person with whom he or she shares a child (as well as a person similarly protected under applicable domestic or family violence laws).
No list can tell you for sure if your relationship is healthy. It's important to listen to your instincts, but these are characteristics* that indicate a healthy relationship-whether dating, married, hooking up, or just friends. In healthy relationships, partners...
If you're concerned about your relationship or someone else's, you can contact to one of these Confidential Resources.
Concerned that someone you know is in an unhealthy relationship?
Aside from visible injuries, these signs of abuse* may be helpful to consider. Whether or not you see any of these specific signs, if you suspect or are experiencing abuse, don't hesitate to contact confidential resources. It's okay if you're not sure about what you're seeing; 57% of college students say that dating violence is hard to identify.† The important thing is to use resources so you can help yourself and someone else.
Remember, abuse can occur in any relationship, regardless of the gender, sexual orientation, or marital status of those involved.
Signs of abuse: Does one partner...
If you're concerned about your relationship or someone else's, you can contact to one of these Confidential Resources. If you're seeing some of these behaviors, consider downloading the Stalking/Intimate Partner Violence Incident log. If you decide to report the incidents in the future, having the log will be helpful.
† Adapted from Love is Respect.org
Everyone deserves to be in a safe and healthy relationship. Do you know if your relationship is healthy? Choose whether or not your partner does the following to find out.
Section 1: Agree or Disagree
Give yourself one point for every statement you disagreed with.
Write down your total for Section 1.
Section 2: Agree or Disagree
Give yourself one point for every statement you agreed with.
Write down your total for Section 2.
Section 3: Agree or Disagree
Give yourself five points for every statement you agreed with.
Write down your total for Section 3.
Add your total points from Section 1, 2, and 3.
Understanding Your Score
Your relationship is on a pretty healthy track; keep it up! If you are concerned about a friend's relationship, read here for more information on how to help your friend
Your relationship may have a couple of unhealthy dynamics, but that doesn't mean your relationship is totally unhealthy. Pay attention to patterns and trends. Talk to your partner about your concerns, and let them know you hope they will talk to you about their concerns. If you want help thinking about these issues, remember you can always talk to confidential resources.
Your relationship may have some warning signs that you should not ignore. Often, unhealthy relationships start with minor problems that get serious. Consider talking to a confidential resources or reading more about the spectrum of healthy relationships.
This indicates a significant or numerous warning signs that your relationship may be abusive. No quiz can tell you that for sure, but consider how you can keep yourself safe. Talking to confidential resources or the Title IX Coordinator may be very helpful.
*Adapted from LoveIsRespect.org
Relationships change all the time and they are complicated and imperfect. No list can tell you for sure if your relationship is healthy, unhealthy, or downright abusive. This list, however, can be a good guide for reflecting on your relationship and behaviors to celebrate, as well as behaviors to be concerned about. If you're concerned about your own relationship or someone else's, don't hesitate to talk to confidential resources or report your concerns to the Title IX Coordinator.
This list is adapted from LoveIsRespect.org, who maintains an interactive version on their website.
|Healthy Relationship Behaviors||Unhealthy Relationship Behaviors||Abusive Relationship Behaviors|
|Your partner tells you how much they care about you.||Your partner calls/texts you all the time, including on a night you agreed to make separate plans.||Your partner demands access to your bank account.|
|Your partner tells you how special you are.||Your partner texts you all the time and gets angry if you don't respond.||Your partner says they would treat you better if you acted better.|
|Your partner uses a nickname you don't like, but stops when you ask.||Your partner says you don't love them because you went to a movie with a friend.||After an argument, your partner takes your keys and physically prevents you from leaving.|
|Your partner appreciates and encourages you to pursue the things you love.||Your partner won't spend time with your friends/family, but insists you spend time with theirs.||Your partner threatens to tell other people about your sex life or threatens to post naked pictures or video of you.|
|You can't wait to tell your partner about good news, because you know they will be excited for you.||After a disagreement, your partner won't talk to you for days.||Your partner makes fun of you in public.|
|You miss your partner when you're apart, but you still enjoy time with other family and friends.||Your partner's wishes always come first.||After you asked them not to, your partner still comes by your work, class, or activities that don't involve them.|
|You and your partner share things with each other, and you are both okay with some things being private.||Your partner expects sex or other favors in return for gifts.|
Intimate partner violence is not the fault of the person receiving the abuse, nor is the person being abused responsible for making it stop. Those responsibilities lie with the person who is abusing their partner. Those receiving abuse can, however, choose to take some steps to increase their safety and well-being and may want to do so, whether they are staying with their partner, leaving, or have already left.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, safety planning is important. Whether the person is leaving the relationship or staying in it, safety planning can help make decisions and determine resources before an abusive incident starts. That way, if abuse happens, the person can quickly get to a safer situation.
To read about specific suggestions for safety planning online and in social media, visit our page on increasing safety online, found here. There are several websites for safety planning, including an interactive guide for college students and a mobile app.
Here are some safety planning basics*, which can vary depending upon living situation, employment situation, and financial situation. Remember, you can always contact the resources found here, for help.
Safety Planning Basics
If you are planning to end an abusive relationship, there are some other steps you can take to increase your safety. The decision to leave an abusive relationship can be very important and healthy, and you should end such a relationship carefully. Ending an abusive relationship is different than ending a healthy one, because your former partner may not respect the boundaries you want to create. They may try and make you feel guilty. Consider these suggestions for making the break-up work for you.*
Preparing to Break Up
Ending the Relationship
After Breaking Up
Unfortunately, ending an abusive relationship does not automatically make you safe. Follow these steps to keep yourself safe after a break-up.
*Adapted from LoveIsRespect.org
More and more, people are starting relationships online or communicating online in their current relationship. Social media and other online communication are great tools, but they can also make it easier to stalk or abuse someone, including a partner.
This page provides information about increasing safety for yourself and your friends in online interactions.
Online abuse and stalking is not the fault of the person receiving the abuse, nor is the person being abused responsible for making it stop. Those responsibilities lie with the person who stalks or causes other harm. Those receiving abuse can, however, choose to take some steps to increase their safety and well-being and may want to do so.
Increasing Your Own Safety*
Helping Friends Stay Safe†
This page is adapted from LoveIsRespect.org.
Relationships are complicated, changing, and imperfect--so no quiz can tell you for sure if your relationship is healthy or not. The questions below can, however, help you think about your relationship and consider how or unhealthy it is becoming. If you're concerned about your relationship or someone else's don't hesitate to contact confidential resources, found on this page.
Answer "often," "sometimes" or "never" to the following questions. Make sure to write down your responses. Scoring instructions are after the questions.
How often (Often, Sometimes or Never) does your partner:
Questions 1-4: Often: -5, Sometimes: -3, Never: 5
Questions 5-8: Often: 5, Sometimes: 1, Never: 0
Questions 9-11: Often: 10, Sometimes: 5, Never: 0
Questions 12-16: Often: 50, Sometimes: 25, Never: 0
Now that you're finished and have your score, the next step is to find out what your score means. Simply take your total score and see which of the paragraphs below applies to you.
Score: 0 or Less Points
You got a negative score or a zero? Don't worry - it's a good thing! You're probably noticing some positive changes in your partner. Progress is a great thing so enjoy how far your relationship has come. Just remember to keep an eye out for any of the old behavior - a partner who abused you in the past is more likely to do so again.
Score: 1-5 Points
If you scored 1-5 points, you may be noticing some positive changes in your partner but it probably still doesn't feel quite right. Keep an eye out for even small signs of intimate partner violence. If something doesn't feel right, don't ignore your intuition; it can be telling you something. And remember, even if your partner has made changes in their behavior, you are never obligated to stay in the relationship. Remind yourself that you deserve to be safe and healthy, no matter what you choose.
Score: 6-10 Points
If you scored 6-10 points, your partner still has a lot of work to do. Even though your partner has agreed to change, they are still hurting you. Remember, the most important thing is your safety. Consider developing a safety plan to better protect yourself and others. Don't hesitate to contact confidential resources, found here, to discuss options.
Score: 11-50 Points
If you scored 11-50 points, your partner is still showing abusive behavior. Even if they're not physically hurting you anymore, they haven't decided to treat you as an equal like you deserve. Consider talking with a confidential resource, reporting to Curry College, or developing a safety plan.
Score: More Than 50 Points
If you scored 50 or more points, it doesn't seem like your partner is changing at all. They may have switched up their tactics - punching the wall instead of you - but they're still trying to exert power and control over you. It's understandable if you feel disappointed and frustrated. What you're going through is really hard. Don't hesitate to keep yourself safe. Confidential resources, Curry College's Title IX Coordinator, and developing a safety plan can increase your safety.
If someone you care about has an abusive partner, it can be difficult to understand that they might choose to stay in their abusive relationship at this time. The decision to stay, however, is not unusual. Ending abusive relationships can be difficult and, at times, dangerous.
It's important to be sensitive to why people may have trouble leaving abusive relationships or getting help. Whatever their reason for staying, your support matters. Supporting someone in an abusive relationship can help them manage the relationship and can be helpful if they eventually choose to leave it.
As you support your friend, it can be helpful to understand why people sometimes stay in abusive relationships.*
In all of these situations, your support as a friend can help the victim-survivor seek resources, consider options, and stay safe. As you help your friend, be sure you use resources for yourself too.
*Adapted from LoveIsRespect.org
With all the exciting and wonderful opportunities at Curry College, people might ask why we focus on sexual misconduct, including intimate partner violence, which is also referred to as dating/domestic violence. For all colleges and universities, this is an important issue. Here are a few of the reasons why it's important to us at Curry College:
*This data is drawn from the 2015 AAU Campus Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct.