Posted on: November 21, 2019 Posted by: Jan Kopischke Comments: 0

Souzan Naser

Counseling Center

Although, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, elevated conversations on how domestic violence affects college students should take place all year round. Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a designated time to honor those who have lost their lives to abuse, to celebrate those who have survived violence, and a time to recognize and connect advocates who struggle to put an end to violence against individuals.  

Also referred to as intimate partner violence (IPV), domestic violence is defined as a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. There are many tactics an abuser utilizes to terrorize their partner. The abusive tactics range from physical abuse to using isolation as a means to dominate their partner. Other forms of abuse include emotional and psychological, privilege, financial, cultural/identity, sexual, digital, and intimidation.  

Domestic violence does not discriminate and any one can be a victim, including students. On college campuses, 1 out of 5, or 20%, of students are a victim of abuse. This percentage may very well be misleading because oftentimes survivors of abuse do not report to campus officials. Fear of retaliation, not being believed, shame, and not knowing who or where to turn to for support all account for under-reporting.  Being in an abusive relationship has devastating effects on students’ academic and emotional well-being. Although the effects of this trauma can vary from one student to the next, survivors in abusive relationships may lack motivation to attend classes consistently; and they may struggle to concentrate while in class and in completing out of class assignments. Emotionally, these students suffer with feelings of guilt and worthlessness, and can develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). With tremendous courage and support from loved ones and school officials, survivors of abuse can address these challenges and work toward emotional healing. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, please consider seeking help. Confidential support can be found at the Counseling and Career Development Center located in S 202. Additionally, students can access support through the college’s Title IX Coordinator located in G 253 and the Code of Conduct Office in U 115.  Reaching out for help may feel scary, but we want you to know that at Moraine Valley Community College we take these reports seriously, and make it a priority to create an environment where everyone feels safe. 

Souzan Naser is located in the Moraine Valley Counseling Center in the S building, second floor.  She can be contacted at nasers2@morainevalley.edu.