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 Victim Advocate. See contact information below.
- Provide a copy of the order to the local Police Department and to UW Tacoma Campus Safety and Security.
- If you would like additional support report the situation to us at 253-692-SAFE (253-692-7233).
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 253-692-SAFE (253-692-7233). Program staff will assemble the resources to help evaluate risk and formulate a response and action plan.
- Encourage faculty, staff and students to contact the UWPD Victim Advocate at 206-543-9337.
- Encourage employees to contact UW CareLink at 800-833-3031. Provide a private office with a telephone if the employee would like to call UW CareLink during work time.
- 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 253-692-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 Tacoma Student of Concern
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call: 253-692-4801
A student of concern is any student who is displaying behaviors that may get in the way of a student’s ability to be successful in the university environment. This could mean a student experiencing crisis, displaying odd or unusual behavior, engaging in behaviors that are perceived to be harmful (to self or others), or behaviors that may be deemed academically damaging. UW Tacoma has established a referral system to identify students.
UWPD Victim Advocate (available to UW students and staff)
The Victim Advocate works with staff, faculty and students affected by sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and sexual harassment. The Victim Advocate meets with individuals to offer support and guide them through their rights, options, and resources
UW Tacoma Campus Safety and Security
- Emergency number 253-692-4888
- Non Emergency number 253- 692-4416
Includes campus security and safety escorts.
UW Tacoma Student Counseling Center
Student Counseling Center provides individual, couple, and group counseling, educational workshops and classroom presentations, support groups, consultation with students, faculty, and staff, and referrals, when appropriate, to community mental health and social service providers.
UW Tacoma Human Resources
We support all UWT employees: staff, faculty, and students. Our goal is to do our part in creating a positive and productive workplace.
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.