Several University of Minnesota groups gathered last week to discuss relationship violence, a problem they say is sometimes hushed in the campus community.
University police have had just over 30 reports of domestic assault since 2009, the Minnesota Daily reported last week. However, that number likely accounts for a small fraction of incidents that occur.
National statistics say that as many as one-quarter of women experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and more than 80 percent of domestic violence victims are women.
The LGBTQ community has a particularly large problem with relationship or domestic violence. According to the 2013 Boynton Health Service College Student Health Report, nearly half of bisexual students and more than one-third of gay and lesbian students say they have been a victim of domestic violence.
University policy defines relationship violence as “causing physical harm or abuse, and threats of physical harm or abuse, arising out of a personal, intimate relationship.”
It’s highly likely that far more University employees and students are experiencing this than incidents are reported to police. Victims may feel embarrassed or like they are betraying their significant other. This should not be the case, and it’s crucial that the University community knows that entities like the Aurora Center and the University Police Department are there to advocate for survivors of assault.
Domestic violence is a serious crime and must be treated as such. There should be no shame in reporting or seeking help.