Relationship Violence


Relationship violence is a pattern of controlling and coercive behaviors that include physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Relationship violence happens to people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, classes, ages and abilities.

Relationship Violence Warning Signs

Sometimes a person that seems like a kind and loving partner can turn into someone who hurts, controls or scares you. Relationship violence is a pattern of behaviors that a person uses to maintain power and control over another person. The Duluth Power and Control wheel explains the types of behaviors that one person can use to control another. They include: intimidation, emotional abuse, isolation, minimizing, denying, blaming, using children, using male privilege, economic abuse, coercion and threats.

Does your partner:

  • put you down, berate or belittle you. Call you stupid, ugly, or say things like "no one else would love you, or put up with you like I do"?
  • prevent you from seeing friends, family or going places or talking to them on phone?
  • control who you see and talk to?
  • hit, push, slap or throw things at you?
  • harass, stalk or spy on you?
  • make all of the decisions in your relationship – what to do when you are together, when you are alone, and decisions about sex and intimacy?
  • force or manipulate you to engage in sexual activity?
  • make you feel unsafe or on edge.
  • threaten to hurt themselves if you leave. Say that they can’t live without you and they will kill themselves or hurt themselves if you leave?
  • threaten to hurt you emotionally and or physically?
  • blackmail or threaten to stalk you or say things like "I'd kill you if you left me".

Protection Orders

There are a variety of types of "protection orders" that a person can obtain. Forms to obtain a protection order are available in any municipal, district, or superior court.

  • An order restraining the abuser from further acts of abuse;
  • An order directing the abuser to leave your household;
  • An order preventing the abuser from entering a residence, school, business, or place of employment;
  • An order awarding custody of, or visitation with a minor child or children; and
  • An order restraining the abuser from molesting or interfering with minor children in a person's custody.


Victims of relationship violence must decide what action is appropriate for them to take. If you are a victim of relationship violence, consider telling someone you trust about your situation. Notify the UW Police Department if you have received a direct threat or if you have been harmed.

If you know someone who is a victim of relationship violence it is important to listen to them, believe them, maintain confidentiality, provide options and let them know they are not alone.

These University resources can assist students who who are experiencing or who have concerns about relationship violence.

UW Police Department: Emergency Calls: 911 - Non-Emergency calls: 685-UWPD (8973)
Provides emergency response to violent incidents and direct threats of harm to persons or property.  The UWPD also provides Crime Prevention services designed to assist in identifying problems and intervening to prevent violence. 
The UW Violence Prevention and Response Program - 206-685-SAFE (206-685-7233)
In addition to other resources the Violence Prevention and Response Program provides support and education to ensure that individuals are connected with services and resources that fit their needs and concerns.
The Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Information Service (SARIS) is a confidential, free program for students who are victims/survivors of sexual assault or relationship violence and friends, family, and significant others seeking information about sexual assault and relationship violence. Contact SARIS via telephone at 206-685-HELP (685-4357) or e-mail at
UW Counseling Center
The UW Counseling Center exists to support UW students in all aspects of their development. It provides personal counseling, career counseling, study skills assistance, and other services to currently-enrolled UW students. The Counseling Center also provides consultation to faculty, staff, and parents who have concerns about a student.

Notification of Protection Orders

If you have obtained an Order for Victim Protection that includes a University of Washington location(s) please:

  • Provide a copy of the order to the UW Police Department by call the non-emergency dispatch number (206-685-UWPD (8973) (modify for Bothell and Tacoma) to arrange to speak to a UW Police Officer in person to discuss the specific details of the order.
  • Report the situation to the Violence Prevention & Response Team at 685-SAFE.  The Violence Prevention and Response Team will convene the Threat Assessment Team to make on-campus safety recommendations for your employee and your work location.


If you or others may be in danger


206-685-SAFE (7233)
For advice and resources


206-685-WALK (9255)
UW safety guards
to walk with you