Dating Violence

Often, dating and romantic relationships are fun, exciting, enhance our sense of well-being and make us feel cared for and good about ourselves. We envision supportive partners who treat us kindly with love and respect. But violence can and does occur in intimate relationships, even in college. For approximately one out of four college students who date, dating violence is a reality involving physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Dating violence is controlling, abusive and aggressive behavior in a romantic relationship. Abusive partners may use a combination of the following tactics to control, manipulate and abuse a partner:

Dating abuse occurs in all socioeconomic, racial, ethnic and religious groups. Abuse in relationships exists in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender relationships at approximately the same rate as in heterosexual relationships.



Victims may remain in an abusive relationship for many reasons, including: fear of the perpetrator, self-blame, minimization of the crime, loyalty or love for the perpetrator, social or religious stigma, or lack of understanding. However, everyone is deserving of respectful, supportive relationships that are free of violence and abuse.


Dating Relationship Rights

You have the right:

Legal rights

Illinois Domestic Violence Act

Dating violence is a serious issue and a crime. Law enforcement officers are required to provide assistance to victims. An Order of Protection, a written court order, can be obtained to require an abusive dating partner or household or family member to stop the abuse and may require them to do other things such as stay away from the victim or vacate a shared residence.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Student Code of Conduct

Dating violence is also a violation of the Illinois Student Conduct Code: "Physical abuse, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and/or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person, or creates in such person a reasonable fear that such a result will occur." More information about definitions and sanctions related to abuse in relationships, dating abuse or domestic violence can be viewed in the University Student Code at:

Supporting Someone in an Abusive Relationship

Sometimes offering support to a friend who is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship can be difficult. They may not be ready to take our well-intentioned "advice." It is helpful for us as support people to get help for ourselves to help us support our friends, family members and loved ones who may be struggling in an abusive situation.



The National Center for Victims of Crime - Dating Violence Resource Center. Campus dating violence fact sheet.