It’s important to talk about violence because it can happen to anyone. Violence impacts students of all sexes, races and ethnicities. Victims and perpetrators can be people of any gender. And violence can happen in same-sex or opposite-sex relationships.
Gender-based violence includes intimate partner violence, stalking and sexual assault. Sometimes these types of violence are hard to spot. Understanding them can help us identify violence and respond. By learning more about violence, we can all help create a safer campus community and ensure every student has a healthy and safe experience at WSU.
Intimate partner violence is when someone uses power to gain or maintain control over another person. Intimate partner violence can take on many names – dating violence, domestic violence and partner violence – but it’s all the same thing: a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship. Many people initially think of physical abuse. But intimate partner violence can include emotional, psychological, sexual or financial abuse.
Someone who is trying to gain or maintain power and control over their partner might minimize the abuse and that person’s response to it. They might say things like “you’re being too sensitive,” or “it’s not that big of a deal.” In 2015, 7.7 percent of Cougs said they were in an emotionally abusive intimate relationship in the past year (ACHA-NCHA, 2015). Some examples of intimate partner violence include:
- Threats or intimidation
- Limiting independence
Stalking is a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment or any other course of conduct that causes a reasonable person to feel afraid. People are most likely to be stalked by someone they know, such as a friend, current or former partner, acquaintance, or someone they met online. 3.9 percent of Cougs reported being stalked in the past year (ACHA-NCHA, 2015). Some examples of stalking include:
- Repeated/unwanted emails, texts, phone calls, DMs
- Showing up where someone is because they know that person’s schedule
- Monitoring emails, texts, phone calls, social media accounts
- Sending unwanted gifts to someone
- Contacting or posting about someone on social media
- Using friends and/or family to get information about someone
Sexual assault is any sexual activity lacking consent. 9 percent of Cougs reported being touched sexually without their consent in the past year (ACHA-NCHA, 2015). Sexual assault includes a wide range of behaviors such as:
- Any non-consensual physical contact
- Sharing nude photos
- Filming someone
- Groping, touching
- Making sexual comments (incl. catcalling, sexting, comments on social media)
- Attempted or completed rape
As Cougs, we play an active role in helping reduce violence on our campus. And we want to support our friends when they reach out to us for help.
If you or someone you know has experienced gender-based violence, there are a number of confidential and non-confidential resources on campus and in the community that can help. The Office for Equal Opportunity can help with implementing personal safety measures and/or making a report.
WSU doesn’t tolerate any forms of violence. If you experience any of these forms of violence, know that it’s not your fault, and we’re here to help.
WSU’s ACHA-NCHA statistics are comparable to universities nationwide. If you want more information on statistics pertaining to gender-based violence, ACHA has a position statement which includes nationwide figures.
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