If you take a survey of random students walking around campus on their opinion of dating violence, you’ll likely get an agreed-upon — dating violence and abuse is not acceptable. Many people know the signs of an abusive relationship and when something is not okay, but how many know what to do or how to help?
Break the Cycle reports that “43% of dating college women report experiencing some violent and abusive dating behaviors including physical, sexual, tech, verbal or controlling abuse.”
Of that group, “58% of college students say they don’t know what to do to help someone who is a victim of dating abuse” (Break The Cycle).
Not only are most college students at risk for being the victim of dating abuse or violence, most don’t know how to reach out to help their peers.
Since the emergence of COVID-19, students have been more and more isolated. Classes and events are held online, social and physical distancing are becoming more and more common. This ‘new’ normal changes the dynamics for those in unsafe relationships, possibly making it more difficult to reach out for help or disclose to someone about an unsafe situation.
Dating violence is an issue that everyone should be aware and knowledgeable about. It’s easy to write it off, thinking that dating violence doesn’t happen in a town like Vermillion, but that’s just not true. Not only is dating violence a concern for its victims, but it impacts a community.
As our student body makes a great impact on the community of Vermillion, it is crucial to stand up and say, “No more” to dating violence and the ignorance people can have.
If someone you know asks for help or discloses information to you, there are steps you can take to help. Listen to that person, tell them you believe them and that the violence is not their fault. Offer to help the person find resources or additional support.
USD and other resources have adjusted to the ‘new’ normal however, increasing their social media presence and posting resources online. Students can find online resources through ICARE at www.usd.edu/icare, PAVE-USD, an education awareness group on campus, or through the Student Counseling Center.
The end all message is that dating violence is prevalent and exists around us, whether we choose to accept it or not. I choose, as I hope you do, to educate myself and others about the resources and ways to help those who need help in situations of dating violence or abuse, pandemic or not.