Relationship Violence


Relationship violence is not tolerated at UCF

Relationship Violence includes any act of violence or threatened act of violence that occurs between individuals who are involved or have been involved in a sexual, dating, spousal, domestic, or other intimate relationship.*  Relationship Violence may include other prohibited behaviors, including Sexual Assault, Stalking, and physical assault. Relationship Violence may involve a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, or may involve one-time conduct. A pattern of behavior is typically determined based on the repeated use of words and/or actions and inactions in order to demean, intimidate, and/or control another person. This behavior can be verbal, emotional and/or physical. Examples of Intimate Partner Violence include, but are not limited to:

  • Slapping;
  • Pulling hair;
  • Punching;
  • Damaging one’s property;
  • Driving recklessly to scare someone;
  • Name calling;
  • Humiliating one in public;
  • Harassment directed toward a current or former partner or spouse; and/or
  • Threats of abuse such as threatening to hit, harm, or use a weapon on another (whether Complainant or acquaintance, friend, or family member of the Complainant), or other forms of verbal threats.


Harmful Behavior that includes, but is not limited to, the true threat of or actual physical assault or abuse and also includes harassment, is prohibited pursuant to The Golden Rule Student Handbook. Harmful behavior will be addressed under the UCF Prohibition of Discrimination, Harassment and Related Interpersonal Violence if it involves Discriminatory Harassment, Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment, Intimate Partner Violence, or is part of a course of conduct under the Stalking definition.


UCF’s policies protect you whether you’re a student, employee, and no matter what gender you identify with. If you think you’re being sexually harassed on- or off-campus, seek help from the University.


*Intimate Partner Violence includes “dating violence” and “domestic violence,” as defined by VAWA. Consistent with VAWA, the University will evaluate the existence of an intimate relationship based upon the Complainant’s statement and taking into consideration the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.


Helping a Victim of Intimate Partner Violence

If someone you know is a victim of relationship abuse, here are ways you can help:

  • Avoid shaming the victim. Remember that your friend or family member did not ask to be abused and it may be difficult to get out of a relationship due to finances, children, dependency issues, and/or lack of a support system.
  • Develop a safety plan with the victim.
  • Listen to the victim and let him/her know that you are there to support him/her.
  • Provide University resources and off-campus resources. Explain to the victim what his/her options are without making decisions for the victim or pushing him/her to make a decision. When the victim is ready, he/she will make the choice to leave.


Sexual Violence and Intimate Partner Violence

Sexual violence isn’t different when it happens between partners in an ongoing or committed relationship. It can occur in non-violent relationships, but it’s more common in relationships with other abusive or violent patterns. Estimates that sexual violence occurs in relationships with domestic violence are as high as 70%.


No matter what kind of relationship you’re in, sexual violence victims all have the same rights. If you’re in a violent relationship, you should consider if you are also being sexually assaulted. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:


Is it sexual assault if my spouse, partner, boyfriend of girlfriend forces me? Yes. Even if you’re married or in a committed relationship, being sexually forced without your consent is sexual assault. You have the right to say “no” to your spouse, partner, boyfriend or girlfriend. Connecticut law provides that no spouse or cohabitor shall compel the other spouse or cohabitor to engage in sexual intercourse by the use of force against such other spouse or cohabitor, or by the threat of the use of force against such other spouse or cohabitor which reasonably causes such other spouse or cohabitor to fear physical injury.
Doesn’t sexual assault only happen in violent relationships? No. Sexual assault can and does happen in any type of relationship. It doesn’t have to be violent to be unwanted. Sexual assault is far more common in violent relationships, but it can occur in relationships that are otherwise non-violent, even respectful.
Isn’t being sexually assaulted by a stranger worse than by your partner? Orders may be put in place for a current or former family member, household member, dating partner or spouse and may protect animals owned or kept by the victim. Orders may protect minor children if they are identified as victims of the crime for which the abuser was arrested.
A judge may grant the victim temporary custody of children. No. Sexual assault causes trauma even if the offender is a loved one. Victims of partner or spousal sexual assault often face special challenges, including: - Facing ongoing contact with their assailant Being in love with their assailant - Fearing another attack/other violence behavior - Difficulty trusting anyone