Dating Violence

Dating Violence, or Intimate Partner Violence, refers to physical, sexual, or emotional abuse within a dating, romantic, or sexual relationship, regardless of either person's gender or sexual orientation.

Click "practical tools"  here to assess your relationship. You may want to bring the completed form with you to the Counseling Center for a consultation.

What does dating violence look like?


  • Pushing, shoving, stabbing, burning, kicking, biting, pulling hair, choking,  hitting, smacking, or restraining.

  • Physical abuse does not always result in bodily harm.


  • Coerced oral, anal, vaginal or other genital sex acts; violent sex; videotaping; or forced viewing of pornographic material.


  • Name calling, threats, jealousy, restricting activities with family and/or friends, demeaning jokes, or embarrassment.

  • Fear and violence results in emotional anguish.

  • A person experiencing dating violence may also encounter psychological symptoms such as sleep or appetite disturbances, anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, blame, self-doubt, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Violence is a pattern of behaviors intended to harm and control. Once violence begins in a relationship, it is likely to happen again with the violence getting worse with time.  The abuse can involve three stages:

1. Tension building: Tension builds over a series of events. The tension may last for a few minutes, hours, or days.

2. Battering Incident: The perpetrator uses violence to release built-up anger, tension, or frustration, and exert control.

3. Honeymoon:  After the violence, the perpetrator feels remorse and guilt about what he or she has done and expresses sorrow. The perpetrator often promises that it will never happen again.

Why Does Intimate Partner Violence Exist? How Common is It?

Research has shown that some violent behavior is learned. Unfortunately in our society, violence is often portrayed as an accepted part of everyday life. Some believe that violence is an effective way to solve problems or even make individuals feel good. This attitude is often reinforced within their homes, neighborhoods, or on television.

  •     Every 12 seconds a woman is beaten by her partner.

  •     1 out of 4 women have experienced, or will experience, an attempted or completed rape.

  •     Over half of all female murder victims have been killed by their partners.

  •     Dating violence is the number one cause of emergency room visits by women.

  •     Men are not immune from intimate partner violence.

If you are involved in a relationship and have experienced dating violence:

· Do not blame yourself; you did not ask for someone to treat you this way. Remember you are not responsible for anyone else’s actions. You do not deserve to be abused, no matter the circumstance.

· Talking about the incident and expressing your emotions with a University Counselor will aid in your healing.

Finding support in general can help you feel like a survivor rather than a victim. The Morgan State University Counseling Center can help you address and understand your feelings, assist you in identifying normal reactions to crisis situations, and aid you by looking at how your life and relationships have been affected.

When you are talking to a counselor you are not making a report or a formal complaint.

The Morgan State University Counseling Center provides free and confidential individual, couples and group counseling services  and can assist you in gaining community resources.


Morgan State University  Counseling Center - 443-885-3130

Campus Police - 443-885-3103

Diversity/EEO Office -  443-885-3559

House of Ruth -  24 hour hotline  410-889-RUTH (7884)     2201 Argonne Dr., Baltimore, MD 21218

TurnAround Inc. - 24 hour hotline    443-279-0379