Relationships & Dating Violence
Dating violence impacts individuals and communities. As members of the WSU community, we care about the wellbeing of all Cougs. It’s important to talk not only about what violence looks like, but also what a healthy relationship looks like.
Things to Try
- Talk about personal boundaries. Having a shared understanding of your physical and emotional wants, needs and expectations is crucial for a healthy relationship.
- Respect boundaries. What feels comfortable and normal for you might be totally different than your partner. Make sure to listen to and respect their needs.
- Talk openly and often. Honest communication about how you are feeling is an essential trait of a healthy relationship. Take some time out of a weekend together to chat about how things are going and talk about areas of your relationship you want to improve.
- Hear what your partner has to say. You should be able to listen to one another without judgment, anger or fear of retaliation.
- Build each other up. Mutual support is crucial for a healthy relationship. If it seems like your partner is feeling insecure about something or doubting themselves, offer some words of encouragement or reassurance.
- Don’t be afraid of conflict. You will disagree with each other at various points in your relationship. That’s normal. Constant conflict, or making your partner feel guilty about how they feel, is not.
- Take time apart. Your partner shouldn’t pressure you to hang out 24/7. It’s both normal and healthy to need space. Being together doesn’t mean being together all the time.
- Recognize feelings of discomfort. You should feel safe in your relationship and trust your partner. Feelings of insecurity are normal, but they shouldn’t take over your relationship or turn into controlling behaviors (like looking at your partner’s cell phone to see who they are texting or dictating who they can or can’t hang out with).
Options for support and reporting
Call 911 in any emergency situation or if someone poses an immediate threat to self or others.
If you or someone you know experiences these types of violence, we’re here to support you and provide options for emotional support, medical care, and reporting. There are confidential and other resources available to you.
Confidential resources like victim advocates at Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse and Counseling and Psychological Services are not required to report to law enforcement or the university. There are minimal exceptions to confidentiality, such as reporting child or elder abuse or other imminent harm. If you choose to access these services, your visit and the information you share will be confidential.
Medical care at Cougar Health Services is also a confidential resource. Regardless of whether you want to make a police report, a health care provider can help assess your wellbeing and personal safety, provide any necessary medical treatment, and help connect you with other resources.
University resources include the Compliance and Civil Rights (CCR). CCR can take a report of your experience, start an investigation, help you identify campus safety options, and connect you to local support services, medical care, and counseling. CCR investigation process is separate from any criminal process and can be pursued alone or simultaneously.
Keep in mind that, with limited exceptions, most university employees have an obligation to report sex- and gender-based violence to the university. If you choose to disclose your experience to a university employee, they will share that information with the Title IX Coordinator at CCR. CCR will follow up with you to offer support and let you know about resources and options that are available to you. They will also give you the option of pursuing an investigation.
This reporting requirement is designed to keep our community safe and ensure that victims and survivors receive the support they need. If CCR contacts you, it’s your choice whether or not to provide details or pursue any of the options they provide.
If you would like to pursue criminal investigation and possible legal action, you can report to WSU Police or Pullman Police.
For a comprehensive list of confidential and other resources at WSU and in the community, visit CCR’s website.
Remember, relationships have natural highs and lows. If you ever feel unsafe in a relationship, know support is available. If you’re having trouble assessing if your relationship is healthy, try this quiz.