In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, UT Police is hosting Conflict in Relationships: Breaking the Cycle of Abuse, an enhanced safety training class that replaces Domestic Violence Awareness. The class familiarizes attendees with Texas laws associated with family violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Guidance is provided on how to recognize the signs of intimate partner violence, the significance of early action and reporting options.
Unfortunately, some individuals find themselves involved in unhealthy relationships. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) defines domestic violence or intimate partner violence as physical, sexual or psychological harm caused by a current or former intimate partner or spouse. Violence by an intimate partner has both immediate and long-term effects. In contrast, healthy relationships are based on trust, open communication, mutual respect, honesty, support for one another, fairness and a good sense of humor.
Research shows intimate partner violence occurs in all social, economic, religious and cultural groups. According to the Family Violence Prevention Fund, one in every three women worldwide has experienced sexual, physical, emotional or other abuse in her lifetime. In the United States, one in three women and one in four men have been victims of physical violence by an intimate partner. Victims can suffer one or several characteristics of domestic violence at the hands of their abuser. It includes more than the threat of physical violence. It is also yelling, humiliation, stalking, manipulation, coercion, threats and isolation. It is stealing a paycheck, keeping tabs online, non-stop texting, constant use of the silent treatment, or calling someone stupid so often they believe it.
If you are currently experiencing any of the abuse characteristics mentioned above and are in immediate danger, call 911. MD Anderson and UTHealth offers resources through their respective Employee Assistance Programs at no cost to employees.
UTHealth employees may submit an online contact request on the Employee Assistance Programs website (https://inside.uth.edu/ut-counseling/contact-us-form.htm) or call 713-500-3327 for immediate assistance. The MD Anderson Employee Assistance Program can be reached at 713-745-6901.
Also, if someone you know is in an abusive relationship, you may also show support by helping them identify resources for counseling, women’s shelters or support groups and validating their concerns and encouraging them to get help.
Departments or workgroups interested in hosting this safety class, or others, can submit a request online.