If there is immediate danger, call 911.
Relationship violence is a pattern of behavior in an intimate relationship that is used to establish power and control over another person. The terms dating violence, domestic violence, intimate partner violence and relationship violence all refer to a relationship in which one partner has attempted to gain power or control over another.
The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey conducted in 2015 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than one in three women and men in the U.S. are survivors of relationship violence. In 2017, the Cultivating Learning and Safe Environments (CLASE) study found that eight percent of UT Austin students who had been in a dating or marital relationship had experienced psychological dating violence and ten percent had experienced physical dating violence during their time at UT. Voices Against Violence (VAV) offers resources to students who:
VAV counselors work with students to explore the impact of violence on their lives, create safety plans and explore options for personal well-being.
Relationship violence looks and feels different for every survivor. Some examples of abusive behavior follow, many of which can take place in person and/or virtually (e.g. social media, email, text). This list is not exhaustive.
Frequently, our culture blames survivors of dating violence for their experiences rather than holding the person causing harm accountable for their actions. In reality, there are many reasons why people stay in abusive relationships, and no survivor is ever at fault for their experience of violence. The following are some reasons survivors may stay in an abusive relationship:
VAV counselors work with individuals to help them understand what is happening in their relationship. Counselors do not pressure anyone to end their relationship, trusting that the individual is the expert in their life. However, if there is a history of violence in a relationship, abuse is likely to continue and may escalate. Counselors are here to listen and discuss options. All appointments are confidential and are not part of a student’s academic record. Learn more about the VAV’s confidentiality policy.