What is Dating Violence?
Dating Violence is a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Dating violence is a form of domestic violence and is also called intimate partner violence.
Illinois law states that domestic violence is physical abuse, harassment, forcible actions or interference with the personal liberty of another family or household member (including but not limited to spouses, former spouses, dating partners, and people who share a home, such as roommates).
Loyola's Community Standards defines dating violence as "Any violence, including but not limited to physical or sexual abuse or threat of abuse, between two people who are or have been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship will depend on the length and type of the relationship and the frequency of interactions between the persons involved."
For more information about how allegations of dating violence are handled, see §409 Gender-Based Misconduct and Title IX.
What Does Dating Violence Look Like?
Healthy relationships are built on communication, respect and mutual understanding. However, abusive relationships are built on power, control and fear. Abusers use many different methods to maintain control over their partners. Tactics abusers use to gain control over their partner include:
- Controlling where you go and who you see
- Making you believe they are the only one who cares about you
- Making you afraid to use certain looks, actions or gestures
- Hitting, pushing, slapping or kicking you
- Putting you down
- Making threats to hurt you, family, friends, belongings, or pets
- Manipulating or making threats in order to get sex
- Being unwilling to take responsibility for the abuse
- Blaming the abuse on you
For more information about abuse see:
If you are in a relationship where your partner uses these tactics, there are resources on and off campus that can give you support and guidance.
How Common is Dating Violence?
Dating violence can happen in same-sex and heterosexual relationships, across all races, throughout all socioeconomic statuses, and in all regions of the country. Dating violence is common among young adults, including college students. If you have experienced violence in a relationship it is not your fault.
1 in 5 women will experience dating violence in college. 1
32% of students report dating violence by a previous partner, and 21% report violence by a current partner. 2
39-54% of dating violence victims remain in physically abusive relationships. 3
1 Schwartz, Jonathan P., Linda D. Griffin, Melani M. Russell, and Sarannette Frontaura-Duck. (2006). Prevention of Dating Violence on College Campuses: An Innovative Program. Journal of College Counseling (pp. 90-96)
2 C. Sellers and M. Bromley. (1996). Violent Behavior in College Student Dating Relationships. Journal of Contemporary Justice.
3 B. Caponera. (1998). Guidelines for Counseling Adolescents in Sexually Coercive Relationships. New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs.