Dating and Relationship Violence
Staying Safe in the Relationship
Student Services Building - 5th Floor
If there is immediate danger, call 911.
Many incidents of interpersonal violence are not preventable. Many people will find themselves in situations where interpersonal violence occurs in their romantic relationship. If you find yourself in a violent situation with your partner, a safety plan presents options for you and your supporters to arrange a plan of action.
No two interpersonal violence situations are alike, and a response that helps make one situation better may not work in another situation. It is important to know various options for dealing with a violent partner that can increase safety. Below are some steps to consider as you plan ahead to increase your safety. It is important to remember that whether you use the options listed here, or come up with your own, the most important part of a safety plan is that it is tailored to your individual emotional and physical needs. Be sure to check out the other links under "Planning for Safety" for additional information.
If you are in an apartment or house:
Know who your neighbors are.
Ask your neighbors to call the police if they suspect you are in danger. Have a code word to let them know you are in danger.
Have more than one phone available in your home in case you need to call the police. If you have a cell phone, make sure to have it near you at all times. Consider buying a cell phone if you do not yet have one.
Identify various ways of getting out of your home, including windows, stairwells, hallways, etc. Practice your escape route.
Decide and plan where you could go temporarily if you had to leave your home in an emergency, such as a neighbor or a nearby friend's house or a public area such as a supermarket, all-night diner, gas station, or hospital emergency room.
Identify three people you could stay with if you had to leave your home suddenly.
Locate the nearest police department or fire department to your apartment or house.
If you have pets, consider what arrangements you could make in case you have to leave your home suddenly.
If you are in a residence hall:
Establish relationships with other people in your residence hall.
Identify residence life staff and mentors you could turn to in an emergency, such as an RA, Area Coordinator, etc. Find out where their rooms are located and how you could contact them, day or night. Know where the various hall phones are located in your dorm. If you have a cell phone, make sure to have it near you at all times. Consider buying a cell phone if you do not yet have one.
Identify various ways of getting out of your dorm, including windows, stairwells, hallways, etc. Practice your escape route.
Decide and plan where you could go if you had to leave your dorm in an emergency, such as another friend's room, the RA's room, or the Area Coordinator's office. Identify a public area such as the student union or shopping area that is near your dorm.
Identify three people you could call and go stay with if you had to leave your dorm suddenly.
Locate the UT Police Station (2201 Robert Dedman Drive, behind the football stadium, 471-4441) and locate the various call boxes situated around campus.
During or Immediately After a Violent Incident
Remember that you know your partner better than anyone else. If you sense that his/her/hir anger and violence is beginning to escalate, use your judgment and intuition to decide on the safest course of action.
That may mean trying to pacify your partner until you can get away. If that is the case, keep in mind your escape plan so that you can implement it as soon as possible.
During an argument, try to avoid being in an enclosed space that would be difficult to get out of.
If at all possible, try to keep yourself close to the nearest exit.
Do not go into the kitchen, the garage, or any place sharp objects may be found. Stay away from windows or glass.
As a matter of self-defense, scream loudly and repeatedly for help. Try to run or get away if possible.
Call the police if your partner is threatening to physically harm you or if you have already been hurt.
Seek medical attention immediately. You may not realize that you have been hurt. Tell the nurse or doctor what has happened and ask to have pictures taken of your injuries. If you decide to take legal action later on, this type of documentation can be important in proving that the abuse occurred.
Take your overnight bag with you if leaving in an emergency.
If you or someone you know would like more information on safety planning or other services available to students dealing with dating/relationship violence, please call the Counseling and Mental Health Center at 471-3515. When you call, ask for an appointment with a counselor who works with the CMHC Voices Against Violence (VAV) Program.