INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE
Violent or abusive behavior from an intimate partner can affect both men and women. In campus sexual codes and under Title IX, this falls under the general label of “intimate partner violence,” or IPV. But it is probably more commonly known as domestic and dating violence or abuse. Like other forms of sexual assault and violence, it often goes unreported. Victims have difficulty identifying abusive behaviors, blame themselves, or keep silent.
In addition to physical or sexual abuse, dating violence can include verbal or emotional harassment. A partner may belittle their boyfriend or girlfriend, call them names, threaten them, or seek to control their behavior, such as keeping them from hanging out with friends, constantly calling or texting to check on them, or refusing to let them attend certain events by themselves.
These behaviors can have a number of negative effects for the victim. They may experience depression and anxiety in addition to fear, and they may also exhibit antisocial behaviors or turn to drugs and alcohol.
Under Title IX, a victim of dating violence can report their partner’s behavior to an appropriate school official.
Unfortunately, as serious as dating violence is to victims, IPV claims are sometimes made in bad faith. A partner may accuse a boyfriend or girlfriend of abuse out of revenge during a “messy” breakup, or simply to force them to leave a shared apartment. There are few meaningful barriers to abuse of the system and standards for no-contact orders on campus are usually far more lax than for civil or especially criminal restraining orders.
You are entitled to legal representation if you are charged with dating violence and should consult an attorney as soon as possible, especially because IPV charges frequently lead to knock-on charges of stalking and harassment.