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Recognizing Abuse

Your Safety Matters

Victim Perpetrator Relationship

The homes of victims or perpetrators are the most likely location of a rape or sexual assault, according to the DOJ report, which also identifies the summer as the peak season for attacks.

The majority of sexual assault incidents go unreported, partially due to different social stigmas experienced by men and women who are victims of these crimes. Survey results published by RAINN show that about 60% of victims do not go to police, and only 25% of reported assaults actually lead to an arrest. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) describes other factors that prevent women from reporting attacks, including distrust of authorities and fear of blame.

Men can also be victims. About 10% of sexual assault incidents involve attacks against males according to statistics provided by the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault. The support organization, Male Survivor, describes male victims face different types of stigma involving stereotypes of machismo, toughness, and a lack of vulnerability. These societal misconceptions can prevent men from reporting unwanted sexual activity.

Recognizing Abuse

Emotional Abuse

  • Tone: Seemingly harmless statements can transform into threats or insults if your partner uses a disparaging or aggressive tone.
  • Language choice: A partner blames you for things or uses coarse language, such as swear words, while speaking to you.
  • Jealousy: Your partner seems suspicious of your interactions with other people. Your partner attempts to control your interactions, isolate you, or monitor your communications with others.
  • Controlling statements: Your partner issues commands or often says you “must” or “have to” do something.
  • Pejorative language: Your partner addresses or describes you with insulting names or adjectives, such as “stupid” or “idiotic.”
  • Threats: Your partner attempts to control you with “or else” statements or negative consequences if you don’t comply with their wishes. Your partner might threaten you with physical, emotional, or verbal abuse.

Physical Abuse

  • Violence: Your partner uses unwanted and forceful contact. This can include anything from wrist grabs to strikes against your body.
  • Threatening body language: Your partner uses forceful movements, such as lunging toward you, glaring at you, or aggressively invading your personal space.
  • Damaging property: Your partner has lost their temper and damaged items around the house.
  • Violence during sex: Your partner is extremely forceful or even violent during sex.

According to surveys from the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence (NCDSV), over 40 percent of college women reported experiencing some form of violent or abusive behavior while dating.