For many college students, August brings new classes, new roommates and new relationships. It’s important to start this semester with more than your books and new dorm room decor. Hubbard House, the domestic violence center serving Duval and Baker counties, is encouraging college students to know the warning signs of dating violence and ways to keep safe.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 21 percent of college students report they have experienced dating violence by a current partner, while 32 percent report dating violence by a previous partner.
WHAT ARE THE WARNING SIGNS OF ABUSE
Does your partner:
- Check your cell phone or email without permission;
- Constantly put you down;
- Have an explosive temper;
- Have extreme mood swings;
- Act extremely jealous or insecure;
- Isolate you from family or friends;
- Make false accusations;
- Physically hurt you in any way;
- Act possessive;
- Tell you what to do;
- And repeatedly pressure you to have sex.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO KEEP SAFE
Knowing the warning signs for dating violence is a great start to identifying potentially dangerous relationships, but there are other things you can do to keep yourself safe as well. Here are some safety tips to help prevent dating violence:
- Know where your school’s “panic phones” are and how to use them.
- Have a “safety buddy” and create a code word that means you’re in trouble.
- Always keep your cell phone with you.
- Avoid going out alone at night and to isolated places.
- Leave uncomfortable situations.
- Set online profiles to private.
- Never drink an unattended drink at a party.
- And never leave with someone who is heavily intoxicated.
College can be fun and meeting new people can be very exciting, but it’s important to always keep your safety first! For more information on dating/domestic violence please visit www.hubbardhouse.org or www.loveisrespect.org.
If you or someone you know is affected by domestic/dating violence please call the Hubbard House 24-hour domestic violence hotline at (904) 354-3114 or (800) 500-1119. Hubbard House can help.
ABOUT HUBBARD HOUSE: Founded in 1976, Hubbard House is a certified, comprehensive domestic violence center providing programs and services to more than 5,000 women, children and men annually in Duval and Baker counties. While Hubbard House is most known for its emergency shelter, the agency also provides extensive adult and youth outreach services, school-based education, therapeutic child care, batterers’ intervention programs, court advocacy and volunteer and community education opportunities. Visit www.hubbardhouse.org to learn more.
By: Jasmine Dionne Williams