Relationship Violence

The State of Texas recognizes relationship violence by two different terms: “Family Violence” and “Dating Violence.” Each of these forms of violence are described as an act by a member of a family, household or dating relationship against another member that is intended to result in physical harm, injury, sexual assault, or a threat that reasonably places the victim in imminent fear of such.

Signs of Relationship Violence

  • Emotional/psychological abuse (e.g., harassment, name calling, manipulation) that creates and maintains a degrading environment; and
  • Physical abuse (e.g., slapping, pulling hair, punching)
  • Sexual abuse (e.g., forced sexual conduct and/or any behavior that meets the definition of sexual assault)
  • Threats of abuse (e.g., threatening to hit, harm or use of a weapon on another or self, or other forms of verbal abuse)

Safety Planning

  • Safety during violence:  avoid kitchen and rooms with no exit, keep phone, purse, wallet, and keys nearby for quick escape, establish a code word or phrase to alert friends & family to call 911, tell a trusted neighbor to call 911 should they hear a disturbance in your residence
  • Safety when preparing to leave: open a bank account & P.O. Box in your name, leave a packed bag with copies of important documents and keys with someone you trust, plan a safe escape route, contact UTPD to request a “civil assist” where officers will remain present when you move out to prevent violence
  • Safety on campus:  contact UTPD for a courtesy escort, familiarize yourself with call box locations, utilize the buddy system when going to and from class or running errands
  • Safety after leaving (the most dangerous time):  drive alternate routes, alert employer, co-workers and neighbors of abuser’s vehicle and appearance and request they call 911 if they see them, consider obtaining a protective order and keep it with you at all times, change your phone number and other shared login information, change/add locks on doors and windows, install security systems, treat any threat as serious and report to UTPD to establish documentation
  • Lease Termination:  Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking who meet certain criteria may be eligible to terminate a lease without liability for future rent and other sums due under lease for terminating the lease early. VAN can assist with this.

Community Contacts

Student Emergency Services512-471-5017
SAFE Alliance512-276-SAFE (7233), text 737-888-7233
Travis County Attorney’s Office/ Protective Orders Division512-854-9415
National Domestic Violence Hotline1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Texas Advocacy Project1-800-374-HOPE (4673)
Voices Against Violence