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#3 SV Required Reading

#3 SV Required Reading - dating violence on campus a fact...

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16 NATIONAL CENTER FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME NETWORKS FALL 2003/WINTER 2004 n America, admission to an institution of higher educa- tion is usually a significant landmark. For most stu- dents, college represents a period of transition that shapes their adult lives. In addition to providing opportuni- ties to gain academic, technical, or profes- sional qualifications, these years allow young people to mature intellectually and emotionally in a wider sense, letting them explore new interests, broaden horizons, develop social skills, and engage in romantic relationships while remaining largely insulated from the pressures of the outside world. Sadly, the idyllic picture of burgeoning youth cocooned in a safe environment does not always match the reality students actually encounter. Campus life is not nec- essarily safe and can be violent and fright- ening. For some young people, what could be the best time of their lives becomes a nightmare that blights their entire college experience and sometimes shatters future hopes and dreams. What Is Campus Dating Violence? Campus dating violence is one of the more common types of violence encoun- tered by college and university students. 1 The term covers a wide range of control- ling, abusive, and aggressive behaviors in student dating relationships (heterosexual or homosexual) that occur alone or in some combination. Dating violence can refer to physical violence , such as throwing, pushing, grab- bing, shoving, slapping, kicking, biting, hitting, beating up, or using (or threaten- ing to use) a knife or gun. 2 It often refers to sexual violence , a broad term covering sexual assault, abuse, aggression, coer- cion, and rape. Dating violence also encompasses stalking —willful and repeat- ed harassment that instills fear in the vic- tim. Stalking behaviors may include fol- I BY CRESSIDA WASSERMAN dating violence on campus: a fact of life
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17 NATIONAL CENTER FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME NETWORKS FALL 2003/WINTER 2004 lowing the victim, waiting for and watch- ing the victim, showering the victim with unwanted attention or gifts, threatening to hurt the victim, and using technology such as hidden cameras to track the vic- tim s whereabouts. 3 The various types of dating violence are not mutually exclusive. Perpetrators may, for example, engage in both physical and sexual abuse, or combine stalking with physical aggression. 4 Dating violence vic- tims often suffer multiple incidents as part of a continuum of violence and abuse used to coerce and control them. For many campus authorities, assessing the full meaning and impact of dating vio- lence is a difficult task complicated by inherent shortcomings in federal rules that only mandate collection of statistics for certain crimes. 5 A lack of clarity over what constitutes a campus crime and con- fusion about jurisdictional boundaries between college authorities and local police further compound the unreliability of published statistics.
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