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Skidmore College
Health Services

Abusive Relationships

Partner Violence includes physical violence, sexual violence, threatening behavior, and emotional abuse. An abusive cycle often follows this pattern—violent threats, actions that follow through on the threats, and then seeming remorse for the actions in the form of apologies, gifts, or promises to change. Partner violence does not usually occur at the beginning of a relationship. It may start in subtle ways and then become more frequent and severe over time. Abusive relationships can hurt your self-esteem and lead to depression and anxiety. They can also lead you to question yourself and your ability to be apart from you partner.

Signs of an abusive partner:

  • Engages in name calling and insults you
  • Controls your whereabouts
  • Prevents you from seeing friends and family
  • Controls your appearance, money, decisions, etc.
  • Becomes jealous or possessive
  • Threatens to be violent or use a weapon
  • Hits, kicks, pushes, or chokes you
  • Forces you to engage in sexual acts without your consent
  • Tells you that you are at fault for his or her behavior

Thinking about breaking up?

This is a difficult decision that will likely involve many complex emotions. Try to put your relationship in perspective and consider your partner's behavior without rationalizing his or her disrespectful or abusive treatment. Remind yourself that you deserve a relationship that feels safe and loving.

Focus on the reasons you want to breakup. Write them down to remind yourself.

Confide in someone you trust and get help.

Taking Action

Plan how you want to inform your partner you are ending the relationship. Take notes that you can refer to in the moment. If you decide to talk about your decision in person, take steps that will allow you to feel safe, like meeting in a public place or having a friend nearby. Be firm and clear that you will not be getting back together. Explain what kind of relationship, if any, you want with your partner after the breakup and set boundaries.

Get help if you are afraid of threats or retaliation. Get advice from Campus Safety, the Counseling Center, local police, or a community resource. Campus Safety (518-580-5566) and the Counseling Center (518-580-5555) are both located in Jonsson Tower. Saratoga County has a Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center (DVRC) located in downtown Saratoga Springs. They operate a 24 hour domestic violence hotline that can be reached at 518-584-8188. Click here for the DVRC website to learn more information about domestic violence and the services offered in town.

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