Dating & Intimate Partner Violence

Partner violence is any sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional abuse of one partner by the other in a romantic relationship. While arguing or fighting occurs in all relationships, partner violence is about power and control of one partner by the other. Due to the nature of being in a relationship with the abuser, partner violence can be hard to identify and understand. If you are in abusive relationship, you may find it difficult to acknowledge because the abuser is someone for whom you have feelings. Abusive behavior can take many forms. Be concerned if your partner:

  • Is jealous and possessive 
  • Tries to control everything you do 
  • Tries to isolate you from family and friends 
  • Has a quick temper or unpredictable reactions to ordinary things 
  • Often exhibits violent behavior toward animals, children, or other people 
  • Pressures you for sex 
  • Has a history of bad relationships 
  • Has a strong belief in extreme gender roles 
  • Says things like:
    • "If you really loved me…"
    • "You just don't understand…" 
    • "No one has ever loved/understood me like you do" 
    • "You'd be nothing without me" 

In all relationships, it is important to trust your instincts. If your intuition tells you something is wrong, you shouldn't ignore it.


Stalking, similar to dating and intimate partner violence, is a crime of power and control. Stalking is a crime under the laws of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government. Laws vary by state, but stalking is generally defined as a pattern of behavior (two or more occasions) of visual or physical proximity, nonconsensual communication, or verbal, written, and/or implied threats, that would cause a reasonable person fear.

View Illinois Stalking Statutes

What should I do if I'm being stalked?

If you are being stalked, trust your instincts and don’t downplay the danger of your situation. Consider taking the following steps:

  • If you feel that you are in immediate danger, contact University of Chicago Police Department on campus at (773) 702-8181, or if off campus, contact 911.
  • Try not to be isolated with the person.
  • Tell family, friends, roommates, House System staff members, and co-workers about the stalking and seek their support.
  • Stalking behavior can be confusing. For support, contact the Sexual Assault Dean-on-Call at 4-HELP or (773) 834- 4357.
  • Don’t walk alone, particularly at night. Access UCPD’s Umbrella Service on campus by calling
    (773) 702-8181 for an escort to your destination.