The image above is provided to help you understand the definition of interpersonal (relationship) violence. More information is included below and can also be accessed at

What is interpersonal violence under the University's Policy?

Interpersonal Violence (commonly referred to as intimate partner violence, dating violence,
domestic violence, and relationship violence), can encompass a broad range of abusive
behavior committed by a person who is or has been:

  • In a romantic or intimate relationship with the Reporting Party (of the same or
    different sex);
  • The Reporting Party’s spouse or partner (of the same or different sex);
  • The Reporting Party’s family member; or
  • The Reporting Party’s cohabitant or household member, including a roommate.

Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction. Reports of Interpersonal Violence that do not involve one of these specified relationships or do not involve an individual’s Protected Status will be resolved under the Honor Code, which is part of the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance.

Interpersonal Violence includes physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that a reasonable person in similar circumstances and with similar identities would find intimidating, frightening, terrorizing, or threatening. Such behaviors may include threats of violence to one’s self, one’s family member, or one’s pet.

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What are examples of interpersonal violence?

Interpersonal violence can take many forms and, therefore, no one’s experience is “better” or “worse” than anyone else’s experience. All forms of interpersonal violence are serious and detrimental to the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of the person experiencing the violence.  Specific examples may include:

  • Threatening to disclose personal/sensitive information (e.g., LGBTQ status, HIV status, survivor status)
  • Destroying property
  • Displaying weapons
  • Threatening to commit suicide if the other person leaves
  • Hurting, or threatening to hurt, pets and/or children
  • Limiting access to contraception methods
  • Monitoring phone and social media use in an attempt to maintain power over an individual
  • Limiting access to money or transportation in an attempt to make an individual financially dependent

Why do survivors stay in these relationships?

It is important to remember that it is never the survivor’s fault for being abused. No one EVER deserves to experience violence or abuse, no matter the circumstances.  Often, it is difficult for those outside the relationship to understand why a survivor may have difficulty leaving the relationship. Some reasons that survivors may remain in the relationship are:

  • fear;
  • lack of outside resources (e.g., financial, housing, family);
  • love;
  • hope or belief that the violence will end;
  • religious beliefs; and
  • cultural identities.

Where can I find help?

If you have experienced interpersonal violence, you are encouraged to seek support and report the incident.