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Abusive relationships involve a pattern of verbal, physical, emotional, psychological, and/or sexual abuse within the context of an intimate relationship where one partner uses abusive behaviors to assert power or maintain control over the other. It is also called: dating violence, relationship violence, intimate partner violence, domestic violence, or family violence. In educational programming, you may hear the term “abusive relationships” rather to be inclusive.
Advocates are specially trained volunteers and staff who answer Orange County Rape Crisis Center and The Compass Center for Women and Children‘s 24-hour crisis lines. They provide emotional support to survivors. They can provide you with information that may help you decide what your options are and advocate for you if you choose to seek medical attention or file charges. An Advocate can go with you to the hospital, to the police, or to court, so if you do not want to tell family or a friend, you can have someone with you to support you and advocate for you. Advocates are not trained therapists but can provide you support and help you decide if you want to seek professional counseling.
There are two different kinds of reporting available at UNC, which depend on your level of comfort and how much information you want to share, as well as whether you want to press charges, judicially or criminally. To report an incident of interpersonal violence anonymously (as a victim or a bystander/witness), you can fill out Dean of Student’s anonymous report form, Campus Police’s Silent Witness web form. If you do not want to remain anonymous, you can file a report with the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Public Safety or Office of the Dean of Students. You can share as much information as you want, including your name and the name of the person who harmed you. When a report is filed, staff members will investigate the incident depending on the wishes of the person who experienced the violence and an assessment of imminent safety. All reports are private and maintained by the Title IX Coordinator and Office of the Dean of Students. Reports filed with the Department of Public Safety are also maintained by their records.
Companions are specially trained volunteers and staff who answer Orange County Rape Crisis Center’s 24-hour crisis line. They provide emotional support to sexual violence survivors. They can provide information that may help you decide what your options are and advocate for you if you choose to seek medical attention or file charges. A Companion can go with you to the hospital, to the police, or to court, so if you do not want to tell family or a friend, you can have someone support you and advocate for you. Companions are not trained therapists but can provide support and help you decide if you want to seek professional counseling.
Check out the definition of consent on this page.
People under the influence of illicit date rape drugs may not be able to resist sexual advances, and may not be aware of the attack until 8-12 hours after it occurred due to memory lapses. Victims may not be aware that they ingested a drug at all because date rape drugs are invisible and odorless when dissolved in water. They drugs also metabolize quickly so there may be little physical evidence, such as through a blood sample during evidence collection. Examples are Rohypnol or “roofies,” GHB, and Ketamine. Alcohol is the most common drug involved in sexual assault or rape.
Forensic Nurse Examiners, or FNEs, are available at UNC Hospitals as well as Campus Health Services. These providers are specially trained to offer a discussion of options of medical care and reporting, collect evidence with a physical or sexual assault evidence collection kit (see: Evidence Kit), prescribe medications for prevention of infections and pregnancy, and coordinate services within Campus Health and/or the community and state. Also called a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE).
A 24-hour phone number staffed by specialists. Survivors or Secondary Survivors can call to talk to someone for support about their experience in a completely anonymous way. Also one way to access services and assistance. There are two hotlines in Chapel Hill, one through The Compass Center for Women and Children (formerly Family Violence Prevention Center) and one through Orange County Rape Crisis Center.
When someone may have been exposed to HIV, such as in the case of unprotected anal or vaginal sex, they may take a course of antiretroviral drugs over four weeks which is thought to reduce the risk of contracting HIV. These drugs should be taken as quickly as possible after the event and must be prescribed by a physician. These can be covered by insurance or by the Survivor’s Assistance Fund.
Emergency contraception that prevents pregnancy before it occurs; it does not cause an abortion. Plan B can reduce the risk of pregnancy by 89% if taken with 72 hours, but is effective up to 120 hours. Plan B is FDA approved, and there are less side-effects than in the past. For students, it is available on a walk-in, confidential basis at Campus Health Services. It is also available through Planned Parenthood.
A “No Contact Order” can prevent a student or groups of students from having any type of communication with another student. It is issued by the Dean of Students at UNC-CH. Failure to abide by the terms of a No Contact Order will result in referral to disciplinary proceedings and possible suspension from the University. No Contact Orders can be useful in situations involving stalking, abusive relationships, or sexual assault, as they can help the survivor feel safer and provide distance from the person or people who have hurt them. For more information on obtaining a No Contact Order through UNC-Chapel Hill, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
A particular type of sexual assault involving penetration.
Survivors of sexual violence can suffer a significant degree of physical and emotional trauma during, immediately after, and over a considerable time period after the rape. They can experience nightmares, fear of being alone, fear of physical contact and sex, and possibly eating, sleeping, and menstrual pattern disruption, much like veterans experience Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) after returning from a warzone. To heal, survivors should not blame themselves. They should seek support from family, friends, counselors, and/or support groups.
A restraining order or protective order is a legal order issued by a state court which requires one person to stop harming another, for a variety of reasons. In North Carolina, there are domestic violence protective orders (DVPO) and also Civil No-Contact orders. These types of restraining orders in North Carolina depend on your relationship with the person from who you want separation. Some of these variables include if you’ve lived together or if you’re married, or if you’ve had an intimate relationship. Police officers can help you fill out the restraining order and take it to a court. If you are LGBTQ-identified and would like assistance, please contact UNC’s LGBTQ Center at 919.843.5376. Any student may also receive assistance in obtaining a restraining order from the Dean of Students Office by contacting 966-4042 or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator at 919-843-3878. The Orange County Rape Crisis Center and Compass Center for Women and Families can help survivors with these orders as well.
If you no longer feel safe in your living situation, you have the option of moving into a (different, if applicable and available) residence hall on campus on a temporary basis. Housing and Residential Education has a “Safe Room” that you can stay in for a couple of nights. These rooms are private and confidential. Contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 966-4042 or Deputy Title IX Coordinator (business hours). After hours, please contact University Police at 962-8100 and ask to speak to the Dean of Students staff on-call.
A term for someone who knows a friend or family member’s story of interpersonal violence. Most of us are secondary survivors – approximately 80% of Carolina students know someone who has experienced sexual assault, abusive relationships, or stalking. Don’t blame yourself for many of the feelings you have after learning that someone close to you has been abused. Sadness, confusion, anger, helplessness, fear, guilt, disappointment, shock, anxiety, desperation, and compassion are all common reactions for survivors AND their loved ones. Being aware of these emotions will ultimately help you better understand the survivor’s experience and be more supportive. Secondary survivors may want to seek support from any on or off campus resources.
Sexual assault is defined on this page.
Sexual harassment is defined on this page.
Stalking is defined on this page.
(see: Victim) A term used for someone who has experienced the crime and trauma of interpersonal violence. Often used instead of “victim,” particularly when someone is healing or empowered after the violence. Most people do not like to think of themselves as victims in any way, and it can be empowering for a survivor to refer to themselves as a “survivor” instead.
(see: Survivor) A term used for someone who has experienced the crime and trauma of interpersonal violence.
Ze and hir are gender neutral pronouns, that is they are not associated with a specific gender. Using ze (rather than he or she) and hir (rather than him or her) allows you to reference someone without assuming gender.