Photo credit: Brooke Morrill
Abusive relationships are something that is frequently happening; yet constantly hidden.
According to the Student Health Center located in the Student Life and Wellness Center 1 in 5 students are victims of sexual harassment. This generally happens off campus and the harasser is typically someone that the victim knows.
This is a tricky subject and one that many don’t like to discuss, however, this is a topic that needs to be discussed and awareness should continually be developing.
One of the greatest problems with these situations is that very few of them are ever reported. Many of us question this, but when thought about we find many reasons. Because many victims know their harassers on a personal level, it can be hard
to tell someone what happened, let alone know that it is OK to talk to someone about what happened.
Reporting someone sounds like something that is very serious, and while it is, everything that is reported is kept extremely confidential and is carefully thought out. Many often think that extreme circumstances might occur, when this process can be quietly and cautiously taken care of. Another very prominent worry is the anger that might come from the harasser after a report is filed. This is a very scary thought, that once you report the attacker, the aggression could be even greater.
An anonymous woman who has been sexually assaulted in an abusive relationship within the past year said this, “I was very scared after what happened, and I always thought you would have to be out of your mind to not report something like that, but after it happened to me, I didn’t want to.”
But after confiding in a friend of what happened, she was convinced otherwise. She said that she hadn’t known how many people there were just on UVU campus to help with situations like this one saying, “Once I was in the Ombuds office, the problem virtually disappeared.” With the help of the campus Ombuds, she was able to file a police report, contact her lease manager about the situation, and even get counseling on campus.
The Ombuds are people who are on UVU campus to help with situations concerning sexual assault and abusive relationships. They are located in the new Student Life and Wellness Center and open to anyone at anytime to get the help that you need.
The most important thing to remember is to be aware and make sure consent has been given. The core of abusive relationships is usually control. It’s important to understand relationships, sexual tension, and warning signs that you may be receiving from other people and also giving to other people. If you are aware, control of the situation and of yourself, you will have an easier time not getting into these positions that can cause unwanted problems.