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Domestic and Dating Violence

Domestic Violence:

  • Physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, between family or household members
  • Sexual assault of one family or household member by another
  • Stalking or one family or household member by another

Dating Violence:  A type of domestic violence, except the acts specified are committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.  In determining if such a relationship exists, the following factors are considered:

  • the length of time the relationship has existed
  • the nature of the relationship
  • the frequency of interaction between the parties involved in the relationship


The following are signs that may indicate domestic or dating violence.

One person:

  • Constantly blames their boyfriend or girlfriend for everything, including their own abusive behavior/temper
  • Makes mean and degrading comments about a partner's appearance, beliefs or accomplishments
  • Controls money and time
  • Shows extreme jealousy
  • Loses their temper
  • Physically and/or sexually assaults another

The other person:

  • Gives up things that are important to them
  • Cancels plans with friends to appease the other person
  • Becomes isolated from family or friends
  • Worries about making their significant other angry
  • Shows signs of physical abuse like bruises or cuts
  • Feels embarrassed or ashamed about what is going on in their relationship
  • Consistently makes excuses for their significant other's behavior

Get Help

Develop a Safety Plan

A safety plan can include things such as changing your routine, arranging a place to stay and talking through scenarios to address encountering the abusive person: what to do if he or she shows up at your home, work, school, etc. Tell the people around you how they can help you if such an event happens - even consider showing them a picture and giving identifying information.

Other things you can do:

  • Trust your instincts. Sometimes you may want to ignore what's happening, or to downplay and minimize the situation. The fact that you are uncomfortable or afraid is enough to take action.
  • Take threats seriously.  Even though it may be hard to believe someone would actually hurt you. Danger is usually higher when the abuser talks about suicide or homicide. Attempt to leave or end the relationship can also increase the likelihood of a dangerous event. It is important to develop a safety plan prior to leaving the relationship if possible.
  • Start a log/journal/calendar of abusive behavior. Write down the time, date and place of each incident, if there were any witnesses, what exactly happened, and how it made you feel.
  • Keep evidence of abuse. Save emails, texts, voice mails, letters, notes, etc. Photograph anything of yours that the abuser damages and any injuries that the abuser causes. If there are any witnesses, ask them to document what they saw.
  • Seek assistance. Contact Student Support and Advocacy in the Student Life Office - 509.359.7924, Showalter Hall 300
  • Contact a 24-hour hotline. Washington State Domestic Violence Hotline 1.800.562.6025 or YWCA 24-hour Crisis Line and Confidential Shelter 326.2255

Reacting to Domestic or Dating Violence

Experiencing this type of violence can be a serious and frightening experience. The threat of repeated danger can be extremely upsetting.  Here is a list of common feelings and reactions that survivors have reported.

  • Fearful
  • Vulnerable
  • Depressed
  • Confused
  • Isolated
  • Hopeless
  • Difficulty concentrating, sleeping or remembering things
  • Irritable
  • Impatient
  • On-edge
  • Nervous
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