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Violence Prevention

WARNING SIGNS OF RELATIONSHIP ABUSE

Physical and sexual violence affect both men and women and can affect students, faculty, and staff right here within the Drexel University community.  While violence can present itself in the form of an attack by a stranger, most acts of violence are committed by people we know and all too often are committed by those who are closest to us.  It is important to learn the warning signs of relationship abuse so that you can recognize situations and relationships which may have become unhealthy and physically or psychologically dangerous to yourself and others.  On this page you will find a number of warning signs of relationship abuse that you should be aware of.  While it is vital to be cognizant of these signs, it is most important to realize that violence is not your fault, and that you are not alone.

VERBAL EMOTIONAL
  • Constant belittling or put-downs
  • Telling someone what to do
  • Making false accusations
  • Repeatedly pressuring someone to have sex
  • Explosive temper
  • Erratic mood swings
  • Extreme jealousy or insecurity
  • Possessive with partner’s time and attention
PHYSICAL COMMUNICATION
  • Physically inflicting pain or hurt in any way
  • Destroying your property
  • Threatening to hurt or kill your pets
  • Pressuring you to do sexual things you are not comfortable with
  • Checking cell phones, emails or social networks without permission
  • Keeping or discouraging you from seeing family and friends
  • Isolating from family and friends
  • Intimidating you with weapons
  • Pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol

If you are unsure if you are in an abusive relationship, and would like to talk to someone about your experience, you can call the Drexel University Counseling Center at 215-895-1415 or after hours at 215-416-3337.  You can also call the confidential Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-866-123-3014.  In addition, you can contact OED for more information.

To see more warning signs of relationship abuse in action, check out #thatsnotlove to see depictions of the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships.   

The One Love Foundation teaches to be on the lookout for these 8 warning signs:   

 Intensity  Obsession  Isolation  Disrespect
 Guilt  Control  Anger  Putdowns

If you see three or more of these warning signs in your relationship or a friend’s, don’t be afraid to speak up and say #thatsnotlove.

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PREVENTION TIPS

Survivors are never at fault for the abuse they endure. However, there are behaviors that aid in risk reduction and increase safety. The best way to prevent violence is to stop it before it starts, if possible.  Creating boundaries and clear communication are the best measures for preventing abuse.

SEXUAL DECISIONS TRUST YOURSELF
  • Feel empowered to say “no” to sexual advances if you feel uncomfortable.
  • There is never a situation when you should feel obligated to have sex.
  • Drugs and alcohol impair judgment, making it difficult to make the best decisions regarding your sexual health.
  • Feel empowered to leave situations that make you feel pressured or uncomfortable.
  • If you have to question your safety at any point, remove yourself from that situation.
MEETING SOMEONE NEW STOPPING ESCALATION
  • When meeting someone for the first time, always meet in a public place.
  • Inviting friends to come with you to get to know the other person increases safety.
  • Always keep your cell phone charged and on you.
  • Abusive behaviors do not go away without intervention.
  • Abuse can start with something as small as comments that make you feel uncomfortable.
  • Do not dismiss feelings of discomfort. Tell the actor to stop and remove yourself from the situation.
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Cycle of Violence diagram

CYCLE OF ABUSE

The cycle of abuse diagram provides a visual to explain the stages that usually occur during an abusive relationship.  The phases represent what happens before, during and after abuse takes place. Partners may go through the cycle of abuse countless times throughout a relationship.  The stages are marked by the presence or lack of abuse, breakdown in communication, the abuser’s anger, and the victim’s response. 

Although abuse is typically not constant throughout a relationship, the honeymoon phase and tension building phase usually shorten over time, thereby increasing the frequency of abusive episodes.  The cycle will not stop unless the victim chooses to end the relationship or there is an intervention.  See the resources list at the bottom of the page if you need help ending an abusive relationship.

CYCLE OF ABUSE – The Intersection of Communication, Abuse, and Response

PHASE 1: TENSION BUILDING   PHASE 2: EXPLOSION   PHASE 3: HONEYMOON PERIOD
  • Emotional abuse and verbal attacks begin.
  • There is a breakdown in communication.
  • The abuser is becoming more controlling.
  • The victim tries to please abuser without success.
 
  • Physical and psychological abuse occurs.
  • The tension reaches its climax and the abuser cannot be calmed.
  • The abuser blames the victim.
  • The victim is isolated physically and emotionally.
 
  • Abusive behaviors stop for a period of time.
  • The abuser seeks out the victim and shows care and concern for his/her well-being.
  • The abuser asks for forgiveness and shows remorse.
  • The victim accepts apology and believes the violence will stop.

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HOTLINES/RESOURCES

All Drexel University Community members are encouraged to report incidents that may violate the sexual harassment and misconduct policy.  Through reporting, there are opportunities to file a complaint, receive free referrals, and/or be provided with accommodations.  Even if members of the Drexel community decide not to pursue a criminal or Drexel internal conduct complaint, resources are still available to provide support and to mitigate the impact of an incident.

For more information about Drexel resources visit: http://drexel.edu/oed/policies/eoLaws/Title-IX/

LOCAL RESOURCES

Drexel Counseling Center
University City Campus
3210 Chestnut St.
201 Creese Student Center
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215.895.1415

 

Center City Campus
1505 Race St.
Bellet Building, Suite 315
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Tel: 215.762.7625

 

Women Organized Against Rape
Penn Center House Inc.
1617 John F Kennedy Blvd #1100
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 985-3333
Women Against Abuse
Land Title Building Management
100 S Broad St #1341
Philadelphia, PA 19110
(215) 386-1280
Philadelphia Sexual Assault Response Center
300 E. Hunting Park Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19124
Tel: 215.800.1589

NATIONAL RESOURCES

National Domestic Violence Hotline
(Confidential and free hotline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

National Sexual Assault Hotline
(Confidential and free hotline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline
(Confidential and free hotline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
1-866-331-9474 or text LOVEIS to 22522

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References

http://www.breakthecycle.org/warning-signs

http://www.joinonelove.org/couplets

http://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/abuse-defined/

http://www.womenshealth.gov/violence-against-women/

https://ohl.rainn.org/online/

http://www.woar.org/resources/sexual-assault-prevention.php

http://itsonus.org/

http://www.ou.edu/cwtraining/assets/pdf/Core%20Enrollment%20Packet/Domestic%20Violence%20Awareness%20Guide.pdf

https://notalone.gov/resources/