Sometimes a person that seems like a kind and loving partner can turn into someone who hurts, controls or scares you. Relationship violence is an escalating pattern of abuse in an intimate relationship. The violence often gets worse without intervention. You are not to blame for what is happening to you. If you are concerned about your physical or emotional safety you do not need to handle your situation alone. We are here to connect you to campus resources. If you are concerned for someone else, please call SafeCampus to consult. Call us 24/7 at 206-685-SAFE (7233).
Pattern of Behaviors
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”?
If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, there are many resources and options available to you. We encourage you to speak with a Victim Advocate at UW or at a community agency to come up with a safety plan and to discuss whether obtaining a Protection Order is right for you.
Signs of Relationship Violence
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.
A person who is in an abusive relationship may exhibit some of the following concerning behaviors:
- is anxious, cries frequently, or is depressed.
- has frequent or sudden unscheduled absences.
- is frequently late to work or who leaves work early.
- has work quality fluctuations for no apparent reason.
- has difficulty concentrating and who has decreased productivity.
- is isolated from colleagues and social activities.
- has an excessive number of phone calls or emails with family members.
- experiences disruptive personal visits to the workplace.
- displays visible injuries or multiple injuries in different stages of healing.
- has unexplained delays in seeking treatment for injuries; who explains that the injuries result from accidents, clumsiness, etc.
- experiences stress-related illnesses and/or anxiety-related conditions, such as heart palpitations, hyperventilation, and panic attacks.
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. You can learn more about protection orders at the King County protection order page. These orders can:
- restrain the abuser from further acts of abuse.
- direct the abuser to leave your household.
- prevent the abuser from entering a residence, school, business, or place of employment.
- award custody of, or visitation with a minor child or children.
- restrain 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.
Notification of Protection Orders
If you have obtained an Order for Victim Protection that includes a UW location(s) please:
- Consider contacting a UW Advocate. See contact information below.
- Provide a copy of the order to the UW Police Department. Call the non-emergency dispatch number 206-685-UWPD (206-685-8973) to arrange to speak to a UW Police Officer in person to discuss the specific details of the order.
- If you would like additional support report the situation to us at 206-685-SAFE (206-685-7233).
How You Can Help
Be prepared to talk with an individual when you suspect relationship violence, or when a victim of relationship violence turns to you for help or comfort.
- Call 911 if the person tells you that she or he has experienced an immediate threat or fears imminent violence.
- Keep information that is shared with you confidential, and share it with others only on a need to know basis.
- Contact us at 206-685-SAFE (206-685-7233). Program staff will assemble the resources to help evaluate risk and formulate a response and action plan.
- Encourage employees to contact the UWPD Victim Advocate at 206-543-9337. Provide a private office with a telephone if the employee would like to call during work time.
- Encourage students to contact the Health and Wellness Advocate at 206-685-HELP (206-685-4357) or the UW Counseling Center at 206-543-1240.
- Encourage the individual to let you know in advance if he or she can’t meet a deadline or is unable to handle a specific assignment due to personal safety concerns. Temporarily adjusting work or academic assignments may allow the person to successfully complete them while accommodating problems the person may be facing.
- Help employees to understand the leave entitlements that are available to help ensure the employee’s safety, and be as flexible as possible in accommodating the employee’s need for leave or work schedule adjustments.
- If an employee needs to relocate for safety reasons, discuss the situation with your unit’s Human Resources Consultant to determine what assistance may be available to help the employee identify alternate employment.
- If a student needs to relocate for safety reasons, have the student contact 206-685-SAFE (7233).
Important Note for Supervisors
Employee Leave Entitlements
Under Washington state law, an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, or who has to assist a family member who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking has certain leave entitlements. Employers are able to verify the need for leave. Familiarize yourself with information about these entitlements.
SafeCampus is the central reporting office if you are concerned for yourself or a friend. We have trained specialists who will take your call, connect you with resources, and put safety measures in place to reduce the chances of violence occurring. We are available 24/7.
UW Police Department (UWPD)
- Emergency calls: 911
- Non-emergency calls: 206-685-UWPD (206-685-8973)
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.
UWPD Victim Advocate (available to UW community)
The Victim Advocate works with faculty, staff, and students on a variety of safety concerns, including dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. She provides planning for personal safety and information about resources, protection orders, reporting options, and navigating the criminal justice system.
Health and Wellness Advocate (available to UW students)
The H&W Advocate works with students affected by sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and sexual harassment. The H&W Advocate meets with students to offer support and guide them through their rights, options, and resources.
UW Counseling Center (available to UW students)
The UW Counseling Center supports students in all aspects of their development, providing personal and career counseling, study skills assistance, and other services to those currently enrolled. The Center is ready to respond to students in crisis situations. Consultations with faculty, staff, and parents who have concerns about a student are also available.
Hall Health Mental Health Clinic (available to UW community)
Hall Health Mental Health Clinic provides mental health services to students, faculty and staff, including assessments; individual, couple, family and group therapy; medication evaluation and management; and referrals when appropriate to other campus or community resources.
UW Human Resources Consultants (available to faculty and staff)
Your department’s assigned HR Consultant can help you with information about leave eligibility use, planning time away from work for legal reasons etc.
UW CareLink (available to benefits-eligible faculty and staff)
- TTY/TDD: 877-334-0489
The UW CareLink program offers short-term confidential counseling services for faculty and staff at no cost. Master’s-level counselors are available to take your call, any time day or night.