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Dating Abuse

Abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socioeconomic status. Brown has many resources available to support victims of abuse.

What is abuse?
Abuse in a dating relationship encompasses a broad range of behaviors that fall into four general categories: emotional abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse and economic abuse. Many types of abuse, especially emotional abuse, can be very confusing for the victim and for friends.

You can find examples of abuse and the legal definition of domestic violence at the Health Education web site.

How can I help a friend who's in an abusive relationship?
It’s very important to understand victim safety issues when trying to help a friend who’s being abused. For example, it may not be safe for your friend to receive email about the abuse if the abuser is tracking all of his/her emails. Click here to learn more about what to do and what not to do.

Where do I go for help?
Psychological Services
Available 24 hours a day. Confidential crisis support and information is available for any Brown student dealing with abuse in a relationship. The on-call counselor is also available to accompany a victim to the hospital.

Office of Student Life/Administrator-on-Call
401.863-3145 (after hours, 863-4111)
The Administrator-on-Call will provide support to any student reporting sexual assault, sexual harassment or abuse in a relationship. The student will be connected with medical, counseling and legal resources. A student can choose to file a complaint in the non-academic discipline system if the complaint is against another student.

Department of Public Safety
401.863-4111 (emergency response)
Emergency response and crime reporting available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also contact the Special Victims Unit at 863-2542 for information and support concerning University and Providence Police reporting options. Services include safety planning, victim advocacy, court accompaniment and assistance with obtaining restraining orders. Seeking help from the Special Victims Unit does not require you to file a police report.

Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-494-8100 (Not affiliated with Brown)
If you or someone you know needs help because of a sexual assault or an abusive relationship, call this hotline 24 hours a day. Counselor-advocates provide confidential support and are available to accompany victims of sexual assault to the hospital and police station. Ongoing counseling and support groups are available. (This hotline is specific to Rhode Island. Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 if you need help in another state.)

The Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project
GMDVP offers shelter, support and resources to allow gay, bisexual and transgender men in crisis to leave violent situations and relationships. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Network for Battered Lesbians and Bisexual Women
617-423-SAFE (Hotline in English and Spanish)
This program offers free services in English and Spanish for lesbians, bisexual women and transgender people who are experiencing abuse. These services include a hotline, emergency shelter and advocacy programs. Located in Boston, Massachusetts.


Health Education
Health Education’s web site has extensive information on dating violence, including how to help a friend, definitions of abuse, warning signs of an abusive person and same sex dating violence.

Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence
This site has information on services offered by local domestic violence agencies, the dynamics of dating violence and how to create a safety plan.