Resources on Campus for Domestic Abuse Help

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month, so we should all be asking ourselves how we can make our campus a safer place! Domestic violence can affect all people and takes many forms. Besides physical, this violence could be seen through yelling, manipulation, humiliation, threats or stalking. Break the Cycle, a national organization that is focused on prevention, shares that domestic violence is seen when, “stealing a paycheck, keeping tabs online, non-stop texting, constant use the silent treatment, or calling someone stupid so often they believe it.” Domestic violence could be obvious or hard to recognize, so it is good for us all the educate ourselves on ways to identify this abuse on our own and in others relationships. As students, we have to be allies to each other and make sure we know the ways we can get help. 

This month is a good reminder for us to look at our relationships and really ask ourselves if they are healthy or not. Thankfully, our campus has MANY resources to get help for yourself or someone you care about! One way is to go to the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator.

This resource assists with the university's response to reports of sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking when those reports involve members of or visitors to the university. Their website defines different types of abuse and includes these links to specific help like the Victim/Survivor Options page, which details what sources are confidential and explains different needs if they are either lawful or medical. They also make reporting easy with their Report a Problem option. Sometimes students are confused about who on campus they can report to and/or who will uphold their confidentiality, so this office provides a "Mandatory Reporter" defined option to make sure students know who to go to. 

Maybe you're looking for resources on how to get help for someone else. This office can help with that too, as they also have a page dedicated on ways to help victims:

How to Help:

  • Tips for Responding to Disclosure

  • For family and friends

  • For employees

  • Get Involved 

One way they suggest to get involved on campus is to volunteer at the Women’s Resource and Action Center (WRAC). This organization has their own list of resources, distinguishing which ones are confidential. I just started volunteering with ths organization this semester and truly see their efforts towards providing a variety of options for help, keeping confidentiality if desired, and inclusivity. 

It's important to take a look at these resources, as it could change the way we view our healthiest relationships. There is never enough advice when it comes to how we treat others, and we could all take some time to reflect before someone could get hurt. While these resources are important for people seeking help, there are many links on their pages to teach people to look for signs of domestic abuse. We should focus on looking out for our friends and classmates at the University of Iowa to prevent them from being victims of domestic abuse. Don't be afraid to offer or get help!

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