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 Nearly one third of college women say they have been in an abusive relationship, according to a National Domestic Violence Hotline survey.

More than half of all college students said they would have difficulty identifying dating abuse. When asked if they knew how to get help, 38 percent said they didn’t know.

The last weekends in August will be a flurry of dorm decorating and book buying for the thousands of young people drawn to the Burlington area to attend the University of Vermont, Champlain College or St. Michael’s College.

What should students — and their parents — know about domestic violence on campus before heading off to campus?


What is dating violence? Is it the same thing as domestic violence?

Dating violence falls under the broad umbrella of domestic violence. Vermont law generally defines domestic violence as violence between people in a sexual relationship, or who live together, or who are related.

“Dating violence is controlling, abusive, and aggressive behavior in a romantic relationship,” according to a fact sheet linked on the University of Vermont Police’s website.

Dating or relationship violence can occur in same-sex or opposite-sex relationships and include stalking, or verbal, physical and sexual abuse, or a combination.

Abuse can be physical, like hitting or scratching, or emotional, like someone controlling a partner’s behavior or isolating them from friends.

Is dating violence common on college campuses?

According to statistics compiled by the National Domestic Violence Hotline — yes. One in three college women reported being in an abusive relationship.

Over 40 percent said they’ve experienced abusive behaviors, and more than half said they had a friend who had been the victim of abuse.

“A university is a microcosm of the rest of the society,” said Chief Lianne Tuomey, the head of the University of Vermont Police, earlier this year.

Tuomey was discussing how her officers use the lethality assessment, an 11-point questionnaire, to identify people in high-risk relationships.


What are federal requirements for universities? 

In 2013, Congress mandated that universities begin reporting statistics regarding incidents of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking in their annual campus safety reports.


This article is from Jess Aloe, Burlington Free Press