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Relationship Abuse

Because of our commitment to honoring the dignity and respect of every individual, any sexual misconduct (and any related retaliation), as defined in our policy, is prohibited and will result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University. Sexual misconduct includes sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. Learn more about types of sexual misconduct, getting help, reporting resources, disciplinary procedures, and educational resources at our Title IX website.

 

Identifying Relationship Abuse

Relationship abuse/violence is often very hard to identify. It can often follow learned behavior patterns that come from family, culture and media. "That's just how our (family or culture) acts," is a common excuse for perpetrators and victims in relationship violence. Also, many people never consider themselves abusive or abused, so they don't recognize "warning signs" for abuse as having anything to do with their relationship. 

3 key elements of abuse are: Intimidation, humiliation, and physical injury.

  • Types of abuse include:
    • Physical abuse
    • Verbal or emotional abuse
    • Sexual abuse
    • Stalking or cyberstalking
      • Experts agree the internet is increasingly the "weapon" of choice. It is a tool to exert power and fear and it's more anonymous. The National Institute of Justice estimate a million Americans fall victim to stalkers each year. (Pima County Sheriff's Department and the Tucson Police Department.)
    • Economic abuse or financial abuse
    • Spiritual abuse
  • Early warning signs include, jealousy, attempts at monitoring activities, not respecting boundaries, possessiveness, threats of destruction of property, questioning beliefs and choices, and putting the person down.
  • Remember – "Checking up" on someone (control) is not the same thing as "Checking in" (concern).
  • Look for patterns - The Cycle of Abuse normally includes the following stages, which vary in time and intensity.
    1. Stage One – Honeymoon Phase
    2. Stage Two – Normal Phase
    3. Stage Three – Tension Building
    4. Stage Four – Explosion
  • Do not automatically assume that the female is always the victim and the male is always the perpetrator.

 

Ways to Step UP!

  1. If someone you know is being cyberstalked tell them:
    • Save all messages and call law-enforcement agencies.
    • Block the user from your social networking page or from e-mailing you.
    • If the threats are on the stalker's webpage, save the entire screen including the URL and print it. Bookmarking it is not enough.
    • Don't confront the stalker. The situation could escalate.
    • Contact the social networking page in question. The company can take down the website and/or ban the stalker.
    • Be careful when adding names to email lists, giving real names in public forums, leaving social networking pages unrestricted or sharing passwords.
  2. Encourage any person in an abusive relationship to seek professional help. The Pepperdine Counseling Center offers free counseling to all students and can refer students to outside professional help. 
  3. Think about your own safety when you approach the situation. You might want to have a friend with you for back up and help.
  4. If the violence is/gets physical, call 9-1-1 right away.
  5. Do not touch the individuals no matter how well you may know them.
  6. Be aware of your tone of voice and volume. Stay calm.
  7. Calmly attempt to separate the individuals without putting yourself in danger.
  8. Be respectful of both individuals and their viewpoints. Listen fully to the concerns.

 

Resources 

Handouts

Violence Wheel/Nonviolence Wheel:

 

Local

  • 9-1-1 
  • Pepperdine Dept of Public Safety - Do not be afraid to contact if you have information about an assault even after the fact
    • Emergency - 310 506 4441
    • Non-emergency - 310 506 4442
    • Report via LiveSafe App
      • Downloadable for Android and iPhone - App Store
      • Anonymous option available
  • Dean of Students office 
  • Resident Assistant or Resident Director
  • Counseling Center

 

National

 

The University of Arizona C.A.T.S. Life Skills Program, along with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and national leading experts, has developed Step UP! Be a Leader, Make a Difference.