Developed by The Center for Family Safety and Healing, the It’s Abuse campaign was created to address the issue of relationship abuse on college campuses. The goals of the campaign are to:
- Raise awareness among students of the warning signs of physical, verbal, and emotional relationship abuse; it’s all about control;
- Educate students about maintaining healthy relationships now, and throughout their adults lives; it’s all about respect; and
- Generate awareness of campus and community resources for victims (and perpetrators) of relationship abuse.
The Ohio State University piloted the campaign in the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 school years. Today the It’s Abuse campaign includes:
The Ohio State University
Columbus College of Art and Design
Columbus State Community College
Mount Carmel College of Nursing
Ohio Dominican University
Relationship abuse is not uncommon, and is a serious issue. Relationship abuse is real and happens more often than you think.
Relationship abuse is not just violent acts. Relationship abuse is manifested in physical, emotional, psychological and verbal acts with the desired outcome being control over the victim. Although we know that abuse is most commonly a crime against women, we know that anyone can be a victim of abuse, and that it can occur in both heterosexual and same sex relationships.
Relationship abuse is not a private matter. Isolation can be one of the most powerful tools an abuser can use to control their partner. All too often we fail to get involved because we either think their relationship is not our business, or we are afraid and don’t know how to help. Unfortunately, this only reinforces the abuser’s sense that they have the right to treat their partner that way. Only by speaking out and recognizing abuse as an unacceptable social behavior can we break the cycle.
Healthy relationships are all about respect. Verbal, emotional and physical abuse has no place in a healthy, respectful relationship. The It’s Abuse campaign strives to help educate people about warning signs that a relationship has crossed the line into abuse. It also hopes to educate people about how to treat their partners with respect and love.
Together, we can make a difference and help stop abuse. The time for indecision and uncertainty is over – we can all be comfortable standing up to relationship abuse. It is not OK, and we will no longer tolerate it in our own or our friends’ relationships. Together, we will stop ignoring or excusing this kind of behavior, and break the cycle of violence and abuse.