Student Handbook 2020-2021

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is defined as intentionally violent or controlling behavior by a person who is currently or was previously in a relationship with the victim. The violence includes actual or threatened physical injury, sexual assault, psychological abuse, economic control, and/or progressive social isolation. Domestic violence occurs in heterosexual and same sex relationships.

This information is focused on intimate partner relationships. The same resources can be used for interpersonal violence between roommates.

Examples of Domestic Violence

Your partner may exhibit a pattern of controlling behavior:

  • Acting jealous all of the time
  • Criticizing your behavior and with whom you spend time
  • Using looks, actions, or gestures that make you afraid
  • Expecting you to ask permission
  • Threatening to ‘out’ you
  • Yelling at you, humiliating you or putting you down
  • Checking up on you, playing mind games, or making you feel as if you are crazy
  • Insisting on making all the decisions

Your partner may have:

  • Insisted on having sex or pressured you to do something sexual when you didn’t want to
  • Pushed, slapped, bit, kicked, or choked you
  • Threatened to kill you or anyone dear to you
  • Threatened to commit suicide

You feel:

  • Like you are walking on eggshells
  • That you have to call your friends in secret
  • That you must dress a certain way to keep your partner from getting upset

If you are a victim of domestic violence, it is not your fault. If any of these examples describe your relationship or that of a friend or you feel your relationship is unhealthy or unsafe, you might want to talk to someone about your concerns.

Procedures and Resources

  • Talk to family and friends who can offer support.
  • Talk to the IHP’s Employee Assistance Domestic Violence Specialist, housed in the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), at 617-726-6976, who can help you decide what options will work best for your situation.
  • Talk to the Dean of Student Affairs in the Office of Student Affairs or a trusted faculty or staff at the IHP.
  • Contact one of the following professional organizations for advice:

Haven at MGH – Domestic Violence Advocates
For information or to make a referral call 617-724-0054

Jane Doe, Inc.
(Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence) 
MA Safelink (1-877-785-2020)
1-877-521-2601 (TTY Number)

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233)

If you are thinking about leaving your relationship:

  • Most people find it increases their safety to talk to someone about their plans for ending a relationship before they actually take steps to end it.
  • Identify friends or family who live nearby with whom you can stay.
  • Think about obtaining a restraining order with support from MGH Police, 617-726-5400 or the police in your area, and follow their advice.

Helping a friend in an unsafe relationship:

  • Let the person know you support and care about them.
  • Tell them they do not deserve to be abused.
  • Share your concern for their safety.
  • Inform them about available resources.
  • Encourage them to utilize the resources.
Take advantage of these resources yourself to increase your knowledge about ways to be helpful.