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Interpersonal Violence


Relationship Violence  |  Sexual Violence  |  Stalking  |  Power Wheels

Interpersonal Violence

Interpersonal violence can profoundly impact the wellness and health of a survivor.  Dating/Intimate partner violence, domestic violence, sexual violence/assault and stalking are types of interpersonal violence that can often leave survivors feeling scared, alone, confused and unsure where to find help. Interpersonal violence exists among every socioeconomic, cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender group.


Interpersonal violence is NEVER the fault of the victim/survivor.

When it comes to criminal trauma, everyone reacts differently and there is no “right” or “wrong” reaction. Each situation is unique and complex, and really needs to be a team-effort, not solely self-help. Reaching out can be very difficult when your sense of safety is threatened, yet the healing is likely to emerge through connection and support. So please look into our resource list on the side bar and consider reaching out and working with staff who is here to support you. Interpersonal violence is NEVER the fault of the victim/survivor.

You can contact us or the UFPD Office of Victim Services for confidential assistance, at any time. A counselor or victim advocate can help with emotional support, safety planning, and exploring resources and options. Interpersonal violence is NEVER the fault of the victim/survivor.

For information on Interpersonal Violence prevention and education, please check out this really cool link for STRIVE @ Gatorwell.


Relationship Violence

Take a Relationship Quiz now at Love is Respect.

Click on Relationship Quizzes and you'll have four quizzes to choose from: Healthy Relationships, Am I A Good Boyfriend/Girlfriend?, Do Abusers Change? and How Would You Help?

Relationship violence can occur in any type of intimate relationship and is characterized by a pattern of behavior that is used to establish power and control by one partner over another, through tactics of fear and intimidation. It includes intimate partner violence, dating violence and domestic violence. Relationship violence may involve physical abuse or aggression, but often the abuse is not physical. It may include verbal and emotional abuse, forced sexual activity or sabotage of birth control methods, or financial control. In 2006, the US Department of Justice reported that females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence. In 2008, among UF students it was estimated that 8% of female UF students and 1.5 male UF students experienced violence in a dating relationship (Fox and Nobles, 2008).

For more information on common emotional reactions to this kind of trauma, red flags or warning signs of abusive relationships, ways of taking care of yourself and more, please check out: http://www.cmhc.utexas.edu/datingviolence.html.


Sexual violence

Sexual violence is any kind of sexual contact without a person’s sober, ongoing, un-coerced verbal consent. Sexual assault is an umbrella term that can be defined as any unwanted sexual contact, including penetration, oral sexual stimulation or touching that is performed with consent. Rape, or sexual battery, is defined as oral, anal or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object (Florida Statute 794).

Freezing is a common, auto-
matic response for survival during a traumatic experience.

Any type of sexual violence is a traumatic experience. Each person responds to trauma differently and there is no “right” way to respond emotionally. Some people may feel shock, disbelief or numbness, while others may feel anger, anxiousness or fear. Powerlessness, shame and depression are also common reactions to this type of violation. The aftermath of sexual violence can be very difficult. Unlike most media portrayals, the majority of victims/survivors of sexual violence do not “fight back” during the incident, but rather “freeze” in response to what was happening to them. Freezing can, at times, lend itself to victims/survivors blaming themselves. Please know that freezing is a common, automatic response for survival during a traumatic experience. It is important to remember that sexual violence is NEVER the fault of the victim/survivor.

For more information on common emotional reactions to this kind of trauma, ways of taking care of yourself, supporting a survivor, information about Consent, and more, please check out: http://www.cmhc.utexas.edu/sexualviolence.html.


Stalking

Stalking involves a pattern of harassing or threatening behavior directed towards a person that is both unwanted and causes fear or concerns for personal safety. Stalking tactics include, but are not limited to, behaviors such as repeated unwanted phone calls, text messages, or emails, watching or following from a distance or showing up in places such as the victim/survivor’s home, workplace or school. Any of these behaviors individually are not necessarily illegal or in violation of university policy. However, when the person being stalked acknowledges the behavior is unwanted and repeated, there can be an implied threat in the continued contact. Stalking may occur in person, but it can also occur online and through social media.  

People who experience stalking may feel scared of what the stalker will do next, feel vulnerable or feel unsure who to trust. They may also struggle with feelings of anxiousness or dread, as well depression, powerlessness and confusion. 

66% of female victims and 41% of male victims of stalking are stalked by a current or former intimate partner.

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, last updated in 2012, “the majority of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know. 66% of female victims and 41% of male victims of stalking are stalked by a current or former intimate partner.” Additionally, in a 2008 research study conducted by Fox and Nobles, among UF students it was estimated that 12% had been victims of stalking.

For more information on common emotional reactions to this kind of trauma, ways of taking care of yourself and safety planning, supporting a person who is being stalked and more, please check out: http://www.cmhc.utexas.edu/stalking.html.

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Power Wheels


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Counseling and Wellness Center
3190 Radio Road, PO Box 112662
Gainesville, FL 32611-2662
Phone: (352) 392-1575
Fax: (352) 273-4738

Office Hours:  Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm

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