Dating and Domestic Violence

Dating violence is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties. Dating violence can be a single event or a pattern of behavior that includes but is not limited to sexual, physical, or emotional abuse.

Domestic violence is violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, a person with whom the victim shares a child, a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the law of the Commonwealth of Virginia, or by any other person against an adult or youth who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia or the applicable jurisdiction. Domestic violence can by a single event or a pattern of behavior that includes but is not limited to sexual, physical, or emotional abuse. 

The fact is:

  • 21% of college students report experiencing dating violence by a current partner
  • 32% of college students report experiencing dating violence by a previous partner

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 2007

Warning signs of an abusive relationship:

  • Jealousy, insecurity, and possessiveness
    • Including: telling partner what to do and checking partner’s cellphone, email, and/or social network accounts without permissionPut-downs, belittling, or humiliating partner
  • Explosive temper and erratic mood swings
  • Isolation from friends and family 
  • Pressuring partner to have sex 
  • Physically harming partner 

Information from Break the Cycle

If you are in an abusive relationship:

  • Call the police 
  • Seek medical treatment for injuries 
  • Keep records of the abuse if possible (e.g. dates, times, injuries, property damaged, etc.) 
  • Seek support from a counselor, friends, and/or family 
  • Consider moving out if currently living with a violent partner 
  • Make a safety plan 
  • Get support from the SAVES office, Student Counseling Services, and/or the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley 

Safety Planning:

  • Be aware of warning signs that typically occur prior to an assault such as alcohol and/or drug use, anger, yelling, jealousy, throwing or breaking objects, etc.
  • Separate yourself from the situation if possible (i.e. leave the location, stay with a friend or family member)
  • Be aware of and avoid rooms containing any weapons and/or remove weapons if possible
  • Stay in a room or area with access to an exit
  • Call police if possible and/or have a signal for neighbors or friends to call police 
  • Violence can escalate when a relationship ends, take extra precautions to stay safe
    • Notify neighbors, friends, family, boss, and co-workers of the situation 
    • Don’t walk alone 
    • Keep all doors and windows in your home locked at all times 

​For more information, please visit Radford University Office of Diversity and EquityThe Women's Resource Center of the New River Valley, and CDC intimate partner violence data sources.