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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/assaultstalking, 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. 

Anyone with questions about these issues is encouraged to contact confidential resources, found here, or Curry College's Title IX Coordinator.

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...

  • treat each other with respect.
  • support the other partner's likes and interests.
  • understand that the other partner spends time with friends and family.
  • solve conflicts by listening and compromising.
  • have some privacy and space from each other.
  • comfortably share thoughts and feelings.
  • are proud of each other's accomplishments and success.
  • respect each other's expression online and in social media.
  • trust each other without monitoring each other's activities.
  • are caring and honest.
  • develop boundaries together that allow both partners to maintain other interests and friendships.
  • encourage each other to do well in school and at work.
  • have an equal say in making relationship decisions.
  • talk about issues and concerns in their relationship.

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...

  • act jealous or possessive, such as monitoring social media interactions or forbidding talking to certain people?
  • prevent the other from going to class or work?
  • keep track of how the other spends their time?
  • blame others for their own bad actions or trivialize the feelings of the other partner?
  • threaten to hurt themselves or someone else if the relationship does not go their way?
  • humiliate or insult the other person or their friends, in public or in private?
  • criticize the other's appearance or touch their body without consent?
  • withdraw emotional support to make the other feel they have done something wrong?
  • pressure the other to have sex or have sex without birth control or STD protection?

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.

*This list is adapted from Know Your IX: Surviving an Abusive Relationship on Campus, Break the Cycle: Warning SignsThe Advocacy Center: Teen Dating Violence Power and Control Wheel.


† Adapted from Love is Respect.org

This content is adapted from LoveIsRespect.org, who maintains an interactive version of this quiz.

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

  1. The person I'm with is very supportive of things that I do
  2. The person I'm with encourages me to try new things.
  3. The person I'm with likes to listen when I have something on my mind.
  4. The person I'm with understands that I have my own life too.

Give yourself one point for every statement you disagreed with.
Write down your total for Section 1. 

Section 2: Agree or Disagree

  1. My friends don't really like the person I'm with.
  2. The person I'm with says I'm too involved in different activities.
  3. The person I'm with texts or calls me all the time.
  4. The person I'm with thinks I spend too much time trying to look nice.

Give yourself one point for every statement you agreed with.
Write down your total for Section 2.

Section 3: Agree or Disagree

  1. The person I'm with gets jealous of any relationships I have with other people.
  2. The person I'm with accuses me of flirting or cheating.
  3. The person I'm with constantly checks up on me or makes me check in with them.
  4. The person I'm with controls how I look.
  5. The person I'm with tries to control how I spend my time and who with.
  6. The person I'm with tries to keep me from seeing or talking to my family and friends.
  7. The person I'm with has big mood swings.
  8. The person I'm with makes me feel nervous.
  9. The person I'm with puts me down, calls me names, or criticizes me.
  10. The person I'm with makes me feel like I can't do anything right.
  11. The person I'm with makes me feel like no one else would want me.
  12. The person I'm with threathens to hurt me or people I care about.
  13. The person I'm with threatens to hurt themselves because of things I've done.
  14. The person I'm with threatens to destroy my things.
  15. The person I'm with hurts me physically.
  16. The person I'm with throws/breaks things to intimidate me.
  17. The person I'm with humiliates me in front of other people.
  18. The person I'm with pressures me into sex or more physical intimacy than I want.

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

0 Points
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.

1-2 Points
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.

3-4 Points
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.

5+ Points
This indicates a signficant 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

  • Make your plan ahead of time and keep a copy in a safe place. Consider giving a copy to someone you trust and can reach easily.
  • Think about the safest ways to get to school, work, home, and other places you need to go.
  • Think of a safe place you can reliably and quickly go if your abuser appears at school, work, or home. Emergency rooms and police stations might be places you can go quickly to be safe immediately.
  • Write down the phone numbers for friends, family, or emergency resources you would call.
  • Put together a bag with important items like your phone, some money, keys, ID, important papers (birth certificate, immigration papers), change of clothes, medications, and anything else you might need for a few days or to access legal services.  If you have children or pets, pack for their needs too. Keep the bag somewhere safe and easily accessible.
  • Think of activities you can do when your abuser causes you to feel bad or lonely. Taking care of your emotional safety is important too.
  • Consider who you can tell about this plan and how they can help you stay safe by doing things like checking in regularly, not telling your abuser where you are, and not posting your location on social media.
  • Even if you don't plan to involve authorities, keep a record of incidents of abuse, including dates, what happened, and any emails, text, or other communication.

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

  • If your relationship separated you from other friends and family, try to connect with those people again.  They can be helpful support as you end your relationship.
  • You may miss your partner after you break up. That's normal, but it can be helpful to write down why you chose to end the relationship so that you can look back at that list if you are reconsidering.
  • Ending any relationship is overwhelming and making decisions after abuse can add to that. Reach out to confidential resources found hereand other aspects of your support system.

Ending the Relationship

  • If you don't feel safe, don't break-up in person. It may seem unkind, but breaking up over email or phone may be safest.
  • Break-up in a public space with friends or family waiting nearby. Take your cell phone with you.
  • Don't try to explain your reasons for ending the relationship more than once. There's nothing you can say that'll make your ex happy.
  • Let your friends and parents know you are ending your relationship, especially if you think your ex will come to your house or confront you when you're alone.
  • If your ex does come to your house when you're alone, don't go to the door.
  • Trust yourself. If you feel afraid, you probably have a good reason.
  • Ask for help. Contact the confidential resources found here for help any time.

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.

  • Talk with your friends, family, and resources so they can support you.
  • If you can, tell your parents what's going on, especially if your ex may come by your home.
  • Consider talking to the Title IX Coordinator, (contact info found here) who can help with adjusting your class schedule, living assignment, or other logistics.
  • Avoid isolated areas at school and local hangouts. Walking with friends and keeping earphones out of your ears will decrease your vulnerability.
  • Keep friends or family close when attending parties or events you think your ex might attend.
  • Save any threatening or harassing messages your ex sends. Set your profile to private on social networking sites and ask friends to do the same.
  • If you ever feel you're in immediate danger, call 911.
  • Memorize important numbers in case you don't have access to your cell phone.

*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*

  • Keep your passwords private. Do not share them with your partner or anyone else.
  • Think carefully about what you post, and talk to your friends about what you want them to post and keep private. Avoid posting your email address, phone number, address, or schedule. These are all keys for people who want to track you.
  • If you want to post about an event you attend, wait a couple of days. This will make it harder for someone to show up where you are when you don't want them to do so.
  • Check your privacy settings to be sure that you are comfortable with the settings. Here is information on how to do that from the following social media sites: Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter.
  • Turn off all requests for "access to your location."  People can use this to determine where you are.
  • Don't respond to abuse online, but do report it. All social media providers allow you to report harassment online.
  • Keep a record (including screen shots) of any online abuse. Read more about gathering evidence.
  • If your partner is abusive and has access to your devices, learn more about browsing safely to minimize what your partner sees.
  • Especially if you are leaving an abusive relationship, consider deactivating your account or doing a "super log-off" (deactivating your account when you are not actively on it). This will mean people cannot post about you during this time.
  • If you are meeting in-person with someone you met online, pick a public place to meet, tell a friend or family member about your plans, make a plan for how you'll get home safely, and hold off on revealing personal information. You can also look up the person online and verify information they've shared.

Helping  Friends Stay Safe†

  • Always ask for permission before you post about someone else or tag them. If you don't have permission, don't post it.
  • Especially do not post someone else's location. If you want to post about an event you attended together, wait until the event has been over for a day or more.
  • Respect any limits that your friend wants to set on their social media use or connections.
  • Ask your friend if they would like you to save texts or emails they have sent about their relationship.

*Adapted from RAINN.orgLoveIsRespect.org 
†Adapted from LoveIsRespect.org

This page is adapted from LoveIsRespect.org, which maintains an interactive version of this quiz.

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:

  1. act receptive to your opinions and activities?
  2. act open to talking about how their current and past behaviors make you feel?
  3. openly seek professional help because they really do want to change?
  4. accept responsibility for their actions and acknowledges their behavior was unhealthy and unacceptable?
  5. get upset when you express a different opinion?
  6. blame you for problems in your relationship?
  7. make excuses for abusive behavior, past and present?
  8. use small signs of disrespect, like eye-rolling?
  9. have a possessive attitude towards you and your actions?
  10. act like the victim for having to change? believes that you owe your partner something for changing?
  11. dismiss how much you were hurt by the abuse? fail to take your feelings seriously, especially those about the abuse?
  12. hurt you physically, even if the violence doesn't seem like a big deal, like pulling hair?
  13. call you names, swear, or intimidate you instead of being physically violent?
  14. punch the wall beside you instead of punching you?
  15. use pressure and guilt when it comes to your sex life?
  16. fall back on abusive behavior when you have arguments?

Scoring

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.*

  • Your friend may not feel safe leaving the relationship, especially if their partner has threatened them.
  • Some people are mostly familiar with abusive relationships, so they may see their abusive relationship as normal.
  • Your friend may be afraid or embarrassed that they will be judged for their decision to stay in the relationship or begin it in the first place. This may be especially true if they are in a same-sex relationship, but not out generally.
  • Many abusers tell partners that the victim-survivor is to blame for the abuse or that the victim-survivor won't find a better partner. Your friend may believe their abuser and stay because they believe the abuse is their fault or that they don't deserve a better relationship.
  • Your friend may be pressured to stay in the relationship, depending upon how popular their partner is with family and friends.  Your friend may even think no one will believe them if they report the abuse.
  • If your friend has children, they may believe they should stay with their partner so that the children will have both parents, or your friend may be afraid of losing child custody if they choose to leave. 
  • Abusers try to isolate their partner from other friends and family. Because of this, by the time the victim-survivor recognizes the abuse, they may feel they have no friends or family they can turn to.
  • Your friend may be afraid to approach authorities, especially if they have a language barrier or immigration status that increases this fear.
  • The abuser may provide financial security, a home, or support for a disability. All of these can make it more difficult to leave an abusive relationship. 
  • Your friend may love their partner and hope the abuse will stop. Abusers often promise that they will change their behavior.

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:

  • Comprehensive national data indicates that of undergraduate students who have been in a partnered relationship, 9.8% have experienced intimate partner violence.  This includes 22.8% of gender non-conforming students and 12.8% of female students*.  
  • Victim-survivors of intimate partner violence often experience negative mental and physical health effects.  These effects can make school and work more difficult.  We want Curry College to be a community where everyone experiences their best chance for success.
  • Intimate partner violence can take many forms and can also include sexual assault and stalking.  People who experience intimate partner violence can experience economic, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, affecting their ability to work, learn, and have other positive relationships.
  • Occurrences of intimate partner violence affect not only those who directly experience these incidents, but also their friends and family.
  • The federal law Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and gender for all schools receiving federal funding, which includes Curry College.  This means we are obligated to prevent and respond to intimate partner violence, which can negatively impact access to education based on sex and gender.

Anyone with questions about these issues is encouraged to contact confidential resources, found on this page, or Curry College's Title IX Coordinator, with their contact information found here.

*This data is drawn from the 2015 AAU Campus Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct.