MSU CARE Program

Resources for Faculty, Staff and Parents

Depressed Suicidal Overanxious Grieving Self-Injury
Disruptive Aggressive Threatening Eating Problems Bipolar
Irrational Under the Influence Stalking Relationship Violence Sexual Assault
*All linked information from the Reaching Out Handbook: Resources for Responding to Students in Distress used with permission from Boise State University's Health Services.




Relationship violence is a term used to describe abuse within a relationship that is psychological, emotional, sexual, or physical.  Abuse behaviors may include:  physical abuse, verbal abuse, name calling, sexual violence, isolation, coercion, harassment, economic control, abusing trust, threats and intimidation, emotional withholding, destruction of property, or self-destructive behavior.  Most forms of relationship violence are recognized under the legal and university systems.

Victims may not report this crime for a number of reasons, including:  fear of retaliation or increased abuse, isolation from support systems, diminished sense of self worth, economic inability, commitment to the relationship, self-blame, hope that the abuser will change, or threats made to the victim, children, or pets.  A student who is the victim of relationship violence may experience a number of academic challenges, such as:  inability to concentrate, emotional trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), physical harm, or an abuser preventing the student from attending class or completing course work.


*Faculty, instructors, and staff at MSU are required reporters for any potential instances of sexual violence, sexual harassment, dating/relationship violence, stalking, and sexual assault, regardless of when or where the incident occurred. They are to report this information to the Office of Institutional Equity.  Students, Family Members and Friends are not required but are welcome to make a report. To report a concern to the Office of Institutional Equity, please visit:





  • Listen to and believe the student.
  •  Minimizing abuse that is not physical- all forms of abuse can be traumatic.
  •  Understand the seriousness of all forms of abuse.
  • Blaming the student for staying in the relationship- the dynamics of relationship violence are complex and the victim is NEVER at fault for the abuser's behaviors. 
  • Respect the student's right to make their own decisions.
  •  Telling the student something is wrong with her/him if she/he has not left the relationship- this reinforces the abuser's messages of low self worth.
  • Help the student to identify resources such as the VOICE Center, the Office of Institutional Equity, Counseling and Psychological Services, and University Police.
  • Offer to accompany her/him to a place of support.
  • Let the student know the importance of creating a safety plan.
  •  Giving advice or pressuring for decisions- the student knows the dynamics of the abusive relationship best and she/he will know what feels safe and what actions may put her/his life in danger.
  •  Let the student know that if the abuser has threatened harm to another person, you may need to report this to University Police.
  •  Criticizing the abuser instead of the abuser's behavior- this may cause defensiveness in the student.
  •  Let the student know that if the abuser has harmed any children or harmed her/himself in the presence of children you may be required to report to the police.

If there is immediate risk to life or property, call 911.