Recalibrating our focus on campus violence, we need ongoing, active and candid dialog about the risk of relationship violence and we must provide actual collaborative programming that provides actual solutions and resources for students who are facing this type of abuse. Relationship violence is among the most pervasive and harmful threats to our students, and if we do not commit to addressing it more completely, it will most certainly continue to grow within our campus at alarming rate.
The early signs of potentially violent relationship have advanced our ability to understand what have become very familiar conditions and warning signs that ultimately evolve into volatile and in many cases, highly dangerous relationships. Students who attend the higher institutions are directly or indirectly involved in a variety of relationships be it romantic, platonic, familial or professional are active and ongoing levels of violence.
Many students come to the university with history of abuse in the campus today. In the university campus today, casual acquaintances form quickly, and in many instances evolve into dating relationships. We know that students today arrive at the university campus in far more sophisticated frame of mind with respect to relationships, particularly romantic ones. Many of our students also arrive with history of abuse from past romantic relationships and unfortunately parents. By the time many of these students begin the next phase of their academic journey, they have already been the target of various forms of physical, emotional and sexual abuse or other forms of violence. Others may also have been perpetrators of abuse (as well as victims) before they arrive on campus.
A major issue that needs a stringent approach is the indecency in dressing among students on campus and has given rise to sexual abuses not only from fellow students but also from members of staff of the institution.
A research has produced a comprehensive, well tested list of relationship dynamics which offers a much more complete assessment of a relationship, focusing on 14 related but independent areas of an aggressor’s behavior.
1. Uses charm or charisma to get what he/she wants.
2. Move quickly to become committed and exclusive early on in the relationship.
3. Wants everything this instant and doesn’t think about the consequences.
4. Makes everything about him/her.
5. Feels entitled to criticize others.
6. Blame other people for his/her own failures or negative behaviors.
7. Hold grudges and brings up past transgressions to gain sympathy or power.
8. Has sudden or fast mood swings.
9. Appears to have lack of sympathy for others and/or the ability to see things from everyone else’s point of view.
10. Has a low tolerance for frustration and gets annoyed and/or angry easily.
11. Acts possessive and/or jealous, demands to know other people’s thought and actions.
12. Attempts to control all aspects of the lives of people close to him/her.
13. Easily addicted to substances (e.g. drinking or smoking), habits or work.
14. Has acted in a violent way in the past.
Despite this grim reality, there is reason for us to be hopeful because we have a counseling and guidance unit that can change the orientation of students and/or pattern their reasoning to fulfillment of academic pursuit. Management, members of staff and students can be an agent of change by adopting proactive strategies to identify relationship violence at its earliest stages and mitigate the opportunity for it to become part of someone’s life.
Prepared by FUPRE SECURITY DEPARTMENT, May 2017