Dating violence is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim and where the existence of such a relationship is determined based on the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Dating violence includes physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and stalking. Abuse may take place in-person or through online/electronic means.
Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking does not always occur in the context of a romantic or intimate relationship/interest.
Experiencing dating violence or stalking is a form of trauma that can cause significant emotional distress, feelings of shame and low self-worth, isolation, fear, and physical harm. Manipulation, control, fear, and periods of non-abusive behaviors, known as “honeymoon phases,” can make it difficult for someone who is being abused to end the relationship and find safety away from the abuser. The person being abused is never at fault for abuse. Support is available on campus and through local resources for students who are experiencing dating violence or stalking.
Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship
- Intensity: When someone expresses very extreme feelings and over-the-top behavior that feels overwhelming. Things are getting too intense if you feel like someone is rushing the pace of the relationship (comes on too strong, too fast) and seems obsessive about wanting to see you and be in constant contact.
- Possessiveness: When someone is jealous to a point where they try to control who you spend time with and what you do. While jealousy is a normal human emotion, it becomes unhealthy when it causes someone to control or lash out at you. This means getting upset when you text or hang out with people they feel threatened by, wrongly accusing you of flirting or cheating, or even going so far as to stalk you. Possessiveness is often excused as being overprotective or having really strong feelings for someone.
- Manipulation: When someone tries to control your decisions, actions or emotions.
- Isolation: When someone keeps you away from friends, family, or other people.
- Sabotage: When someone purposely ruins your reputation, achievements, or success.
- Belittling: When someone does and says things to make you feel bad about yourself.
- Guilting: When someone makes you feel responsible for their actions or makes you feel like it’s your job to keep them happy.
- Volatility: When someone has a really strong, unpredictable reaction that makes you feel scared, confused or intimidated.
- Deflecting Responsibility: When someone repeatedly makes excuses for their unhealthy behavior.
- Betrayal: When someone is disloyal or acts in an intentionally dishonest way.
The Counseling Center provides free and confidential support through in-person and telehealth services. Students experiencing dating violence or stalking may seek daytime emergency services Monday-Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm by coming into the Counseling Center (Humanities 150) or calling 410-617-2273 and requesting to meet with the Emergency Counselor. Initial, non-urgent appointments may be scheduled Online or by calling 410-617-2273.
The Sexual Violence Prevention, Education, and Response Coordinator, provides confidential support and advocacy for students who have experienced dating violence and stalking, including supporting students in seeking medical care and understanding their reporting options. They can be reached in the Women's Center, Seton Court 04A, or by calling 410-617-6769.
After-hours/weekend support is available through the Residence Life and Housing office (RA, GRC, or AD) or the Counseling Center Crisis Line at 410-617-5530, which can assist with connecting to confidential campus resources. To contact Residence Life and Housing staff after-hours, call Public Safety at 410-617-5911 and request to speak with the Assistant Director on-call.
Students who have experienced dating violence or stalking may need no contact orders, flexibility around class attendance and assignments, their on-campus obligations, and having a safe space to reside on campus. The Office of Title IX provides accommodations for students who experienced dating violence, including support with no contact orders, housing, and on-campus activities. Students do not need to file a Title IX report to access accommodations.
Students have options to report dating violence and stalking through the on-campus conduct process and/or for criminal proceedings with off-campus law enforcement. The decision to report dating violence for adjudication on or off-campus is made by the survivor and is not mandatory. Students are eligible for supportive services on-campus regardless of whether dating violence is formally reported. On-campus reporting occurs through the Office of Title IX. Public Safety and the Sexual Violence Prevention Response and Education Coordinator can assist with making reports to off-campus law enforcement, when requested.
Please note that the Office of Title IX and Public Safety are not confidential resources.
- Consent: Review the definitions of consent and various forms of sexual misconduct.
- Common Reactions: While every survivor and situation is unique, there are some common reactions to sexual assault and intimate partner violence.
- For Women of Color: The Women of Color Network offers information about sexual assault and intimate partner violence for women of color.
- How to Offer Support: Knowing how to help a friend who has been sexually assaulted or a victim of intimate partner violence is often challenging. Consider these suggestions on how to support a survivor.
150 Humanities Center
24/7 Crisis Line 410-617-5530
Sexual Violence Prevention Response and Education Coordinator
Confidential resource for support and advocacy around sexual misconduct and gender-based violence concerns.
Office of Title IX
Non-confidential resource for support with accommodations (academic, housing, non-Contact orders, etc.) and on-campus reporting options.
Jenkins Hall, Room 105
Student Health and Education Services
Seton Hall 02A
Residence Life and Housing
Seton Hall 08B
Free counseling and advocacy services for survivors of dating violence and stalking
The Counseling Center located in Humanities 150 is open M-F from 8:30am until 5pm (EST) and closed when the university is closed. If you would like to make an appointment with a counselor, schedule an appointment online
, stop by our office or call 410-617-2273.