If you feel afraid of your partner, you can work with a VAV counselor to learn about your rights, options and how to create a safety plan. Safety planning begins with looking at your life--including your schedule and home security-- to identify areas where you may feel vulnerable. Once areas of concern are identified, you can establish specific ways to increase your safety. For example, you might:
- Discuss safe ways to end the relationship
- Vary your route to and from school or work
- Create a code word with trusted friends and family members
- Notify others about your whereabouts
- Change your passwords
- Create new e-mail accounts or social media profiles
- Alert building security where you live
A safety plan is going to look different for every individual. No two relationship violence situations are alike, and a response to one situation may not work in another case. It is important to know various options that can increase safety, whether you use them yourself or share them with a friend, family member, or co-worker. The most important part of a safety plan is that it is tailored to your own emotional and physical needs. Working with a VAV Counselor can help you access resources on and off campus and think through your best options. Relationship violence is never the fault of the person being abused.
If you or someone you know would like more information on Voices Against Violence (VAV) services, including individual counseling, group counseling and advocacy please call the Counseling and Mental Health Center at (512)471-3515. When you call, ask for a VAV appointment. If this is an emergency, please call 911. If you need to speak with someone immediately, you can walk in to the Counseling and Mental Health Center M-F, 8am-4pm. UT students can reach a telephone counselor 24/7/365 at (512) 471-CALL (2255)
You have a right to be safe at The University of Texas at Austin.