Heymann & Fletcher

Domestic violence may have increased at a New Jersey college

Explosive tempers, mood swings, checking social media posts without permission, isolation from family and friends, and possessiveness are all signs that someone might be in an abusive dating relationship. According to one website, the majority of college students do not know how to recognize the signs of an abusive relationship or understand how to help someone that may be in one. The lack of awareness for some students may be a contributing factor to explain why many college students in New Jersey and across the United States are at an elevated risk for domestic violence.

According to statistics, someone is domestically abused by a significant other every 20 minutes in the United States. Researchers believe that the statistics equate to around 10 million people every year. Sadly, students dating or in relationships on college campuses are not immune to domestic violence. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence believes that being part of a college campus community creates a sense of community and security, resulting in student vulnerability.

Rider University located in New Jersey has seen its own increase in domestic violence in the last year. Some believe that it is not an increase of occurrences but an increase of awareness to speak out, encouraged by campaigns such as #MeToo. Data for domestic violence also includes reports from bystanders. With increased awareness, more bystanders are reporting suspected domestic violence when witnessed.

Approximately 43 percent of college women report some sort of dating abuse while in college. It is unfortunate that so many students experience negative dating abuse such as physical, sex, emotional, verbal, financial, digital and stalking. Sadly, college campuses are not the only place that people may experience domestic violence. Anyone who needs assistance with leaving an abusive relationship may find help with an experienced family law attorney in New Jersey among many other resources.

Source: theridernews.com, "Domestic violence stats up, but so is awareness", Jessica Hergert, April 3, 2018

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