OP: Abusive and unhealthy relationships in college – breaking the cycle

12 November 2019

Joy Webb

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It is an inevitable and unspoken truth that most college students will end up being in a relationship during their time at a university. According to a study by Break the Cycle, more than half (57 percent) of college students who report having been in an abusive dating relationship said it occurred in college.

Since it is a possibility that many people in college will experience some form of an unhealthy relationship, it is important to be aware of the signs. Also, according to the abuse and dating poll by Break the Cycle, 43 percent of dating college women report experiencing some violent and abusive dating behaviors, including physical, sexual, tech, verbal or controlling abuse. Over one in five college women (22 percent) report actual physical abuse, sexual abuse or threats of physical violence.

Some signs of an abusive relationship, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline are:

· Tells you that you can never do anything right

· Shows extreme jealousy of your friends and time spent away

· Keeps you or discourages you from seeing friends or family members

· Insults, demeans or shames you with put-downs

· Controls every penny spent in the household

· Takes your money or refuses to give you money for necessary expenses

· Looks at you or acts in ways that scare you

· Controls who you see, where you go or what you do

· Prevents you from making your own decisions

· Tells you that you are a bad parent or threatens to harm or take away your children

· Prevents you from working or attending school

· Destroys your property or threatens to hurt or kill your pets

· Intimidates you with guns, knives or other weapons

· Pressures you to have sex when you do not want to or do things sexually, you are not comfortable with

· Pressures you to use drugs or alcohol

If you or someone you know are experiencing any of these concerning signs, do not hesitate or wait to seek help.

Break the Cycle also found that college students do not know how to help their friends or themselves get out of abusive relationships.

58 percent of college students say they do not know how or what to do to help someone who is a victim of dating abuse. 38 percent of college students say they do not know how to get help for themselves on campus if they were a victim of dating abuse. Also, according to this poll, more than half of all college students (57 percent) say it is difficult to identify dating abuse.

Nothing is more important than an individual’s well-being or safety, so make sure that warning signs do not go unacknowledged, and that college students are sticking together through the difficulty of navigating relationships while we are also struggling to figure out who we are.