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Warning Signs for College-Age Adults

Whether you are a parent, professor, administrator, student, coworker, or friend—you can make a difference in someone’s life by noticing the warning signs of sexual assault and abusive relationships. Sexual violence, like many other crimes, can occur on college campuses and at locations frequented by college students.

It’s not easy to come forward

  • 8 out of 10 cases of sexual assault, the perpetrator is someone the victim knows

  • This can make it more difficult, especially if the perpetrator is  a friend or a classmate.

  • No matter who the alleged perpetrator is, the survivor deserves support and care.

Warning signs that a college-age adult may have been sexually assaulted

  • It’s better to ask and be wrong than to let the person you care about struggle with the effects of sexual assault.

  • You can ask questions that point to a specific person or time like, “Did something happen with the person you met at the party the other night?”

  • You can also simply tell them that you will believe them when they come forward, and that it’s not their fault.

If you notice these warning signs in a college-age adult, it’s worth reaching out to them:

Signs that Someone May Be In an Abusive Relationship

  • Withdrawing from other relationships or activities, 

  • Saying that their partner doesn’t want them to go places or limits their contact with others

  • Mentioning that their partner is pressuring them to do things that make them uncomfortable

  • Controlling their means of communication, such as answering their phone or text messages or intruding into private conversations

  • Visible signs of physical abuse, such as bruises 

Remember, you are not alone. If you suspect sexual abuse you can talk to someone who is trained to help. 

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