What is Domestic and Dating Violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in ANY type of relationship and dating violence is abusive behavior in a romantic relationship, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, to try to gain control or power over the other person. Domestic and dating violence does not discriminate and can happen regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. The abuse in both domestic and dating violence relationships can be physical, emotional/verbal, sexual, or even economical. If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, either domestic or dating, or if you know a student who is struggling in one of these relationships reach out for help and support. You do not have to carry this fear, blame, hurt, guilt, isolation or anxiety alone. On campus you can find support by calling 974-HELP, UT Police (974-3114), or the Dean of Students Office (974-3179), and off campus you can reach out to the Family Justice Center by calling their 24/7 hotline at (865) 521-6336.
What Are the Different Types of Abuse¹?
Physical Abuse: Is the use of physical force against another person
- Hair pulling
- Denial of medical care
Sexual Abuse: Is a form of physical abuse in which a person is forced or coerced into any sexual behavior (unwanted, unsafe, or degrading) without that person’s consent
- Forced sexual intercourse (rape)
- Attacks on sexual parts of the body
- Unwanted touching or kissing
- Forcing sex after physical violence has occurred
- Treating one in a sexually demeaning manner
Emotional/Verbal or Psychological Abuse: Is when a person’s sense of self, self-esteem and self-worth is attacked and weakened causing that person to feel trapped and as though they have nothing outside of the relationship
- Constant criticism
- Blaming and shaming
- Isolation from friends, family, school, work
- Threatening physical harm to self or others, such as children, family, or friends
- Hurting of pets
- Damaging property
Economic Abuse: When a person’s money is controlled by the other person and he/she becomes financially dependent on them as a result
- Control of access to money
- Withholding money
- Having to account for any money spent
- Withholding basic necessities (food, clothes, medications, shelter)
- Forbidding work or school
What Are the Signs That You Might Be In An Abusive Relationship?
Does your partner ever:
- Put you down, call you names, or make you feel bad about yourself?
- Make you do something humiliating or degrading, or embarrass you in front of others?
- Control what you do, who you see or talk to, or where you go?
- Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
- Take your money, make you ask for money, or refuse to give you money?
- Intentionally damage your possessions or threaten to do so?
- Tell you that you are a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children?
- Prevent you from working or attending school?
- Act like the abuse is no big deal, it is your fault, or even deny doing it?
- Make all the big decisions and/or control the money?
- Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?
- Shove you, slap you, choke you, or hit you?
- Force you to try and drop charges you have filed?
- Threaten to commit suicide?
- Threaten to kill you?
- Use drugs and alcohol as an excuse for saying hurtful things or abusing you?
- Pressure you sexually for things you are uncomfortable doing?
- Tell you that you are nothing without them?
- Ever feel like you are walking on egg shells?
- Sometimes feel scared of how your partner will act?
- Constantly make excuses to other people for your partner’s behavior?
- Believe that you can help your partner change if only you change yourself?
- Try not to do anything that would cause conflict or make your partner angry?
- Always do what your partner wants you to do instead of doing what you want?
- Stay because you are afraid of what your partner would do to you if you broke up?
IF YOU ANSWERED YES TO ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS, YOU MAY BE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP².
**Domestic Violence information according to Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A.) 2014**
- Domestic Assault(T.C.A. § 39-13-111)
- As used in this section, “domestic abuse victim” means any person who falls within the following categories:
- Adults or minors who are current or former spouses;
- Adults or minors who live together or who have lived together;
- Adults or minors who are dating, or who have dated, or who have, or had, a sexual relationship, but does not include fraternization between two (2) individuals in a business or social context;
- Adults or minors related by blood or adoption;
- Adults or minors who are related or were formerly related by marriage; or
- Adult or minor children of a person in a relationship that is described in subdivisions (a) (1)-(5).
- A person commits domestic assault who commits an assault as defined in § 39-13-101 against a domestic abuse victim.
- Assault (T.C.A. § 39-13-101)
- A person commits assault who:
- Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another;
- Intentionally or knowingly causes another to reasonably fear imminent bodily injury; or
- Intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another and a reasonable person would regard the contact as extremely offensive or provocative.
- Assault is a Class A misdemeanor unless the offense is committed under subdivision (a)(3), in which event assault is a Class B misdemeanor; provided, that, if the offense is committed against a law enforcement officer or a health care provider acting in the discharge of the provider’s duty
- A person commits assault who:
For more information about Tennessee Laws through Tennessee Code Annotated please visit: http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/tncode/
¹Information adapted from US Department of Justice, National Center for Victims of Crime, Womenshelath.gov, and HelpGuide.org
²Information adapted from Family Justice Center Website: http://fjcknoxville.com/domestic-violence/for-victims/
What is Relationship Violence?
Relationship violence (also known as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), dating or domestic violence) is a pattern of physically, sexually, and/or emotionally abusive behaviors, used by one individual to assert control or maintain power over a partner in the context of an intimate or family relationship. Relationship violence rarely occurs as an isolated incident.
Violent behaviors can range from verbal threats, put-downs, and name calling to slapping, hitting, pushing and sexual assault. Relationship violence is against the law and against university policy.
If you are being abused by your partner, you may feel confused, afraid, angry and/or trapped. You may even be blaming yourself for what is happening. All of these emotions are normal responses to the abuse you are experiencing. When abuse occurs, it is rarely a single incident. No matter what others say, you are not responsible for your partner’s abusive actions.
Click here for a chart/graphic on cycle of abuse.
Cycle of Abuse in Relationships
Power and Control
Intimate partner violence is rooted in power and control. If you look at the wheel below, you can see how most aspects of abuse are not physical, but are emotional, sexual, and even economic. Physical violence, which is in the rim of the wheel, is the force that is used to keep someone under control when the behaviors inside the spokes do not work.
Ten Warning Signs of Abuse
While there are many warning signs of abuse, here are ten of the most common behaviors exhibited by abusers to their partners:
- Checking their partner’s cell phone or email without permission
- Constant put-downs
- Extreme jealousy or insecurity
- Explosive temper
- Financial control
- Isolating their partner from family or friends
- Mood swings
- Physically hurting their partner in any way
- Telling their partner what to do