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UNLV forum aims to educate students who may be vulnerable to dating violence

Posted at 11:10 PM, Oct 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-24 02:23:59-04

The college years are all about education and new life experiences. And that lack of life experience can make some students vulnerable to dating violence. 

Camille Corpus, a member of Alpha Phi Gamma Sorority, has been studying up on domestic violence. Her sorority hosted a campus forum Tuesday night at UNLV's Greenspun Hall Auditorium.

"One in three women and one in four men are going to me physically harmed by an intimate partner in their lifetime," said Corpus.

Reciting statistics is almost second nature for a student, but if you dig deeper you will find those numbers hit really close to home. 

"I could name off at least 3 or 4 people off the top of my head," she said. "That I know are in or have been in a situation right now where you could classify it as violence or an unhealthy relationship. Toxic."

At the forum other UNLV students learned why so many young adults are experiencing it and how to recognize the signs to stop the cycle of violence.

Shannon Williams is a volunteer at the Jean Nidetch Women's Center on campus.

"They might be hesitant to say domestic or dating violence because they aren't really together," she said. "They aren't living together. So, it can't really be that type of situation."

Williams said the typical college lifestyle puts students in a vulnerable position. Students are likely away from home and family for the first time. They are making new friends and trying to create a support system. It could be their first experience with a serious relationship. Williams said all of these factors can make it easier for an abuser to gain control. 

She said it often starts with controlling behavior that eventually escalates to violence such as:

*Not letting you hang out with friends
*Threatening to hurt loved ones
*Offering to pay for expenses

"It seems innocuous, but over a period of time," Williams said. "It's a slow drip, drip."

If you or someone you know needs help you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or for students there is the UNLV Care Line at 702-895-0602.