Intimate partner abuse/domestic violence happens in all communities, and CU Boulder is not exempt. The way we respond matters—our response can influence the survivor’s decision to seek out further help and can affect their healing process.

As part of Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Abuse Awareness Month this October, the Office of Victim Assistance (OVA) has provided tips and information on how to support survivors.


Domestic violence, also known as intimate partner abuse, is best understood as a pattern of abusive behaviors including physical, sexual and psychological abuse, as well as economic coercion. These behaviors are used by one intimate partner against another to gain, maintain or regain power and control in the relationship.

Group of people walk arm in armTheir partner may:

  • Control what their partner does, who they see and talk to.
  • Want to make all the decisions.
  • Manipulate with insults, guilt and/or threats to harm themselves or others.
  • Prevent their partner from working, studying or socializing.
  • Keep close track of where and what their partner is doing at all times.
  • Be physically, verbally, emotionally and/or sexually abusive.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of sex, age, race, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation.


Here are a few ways you can support a friend who may have an abusive partner:

  • Listen and check in on safety. Your friend may have mixed emotions about their relationship.
  • Talk with your friend about what you are observing.
  • Give specific examples:
    • “I’m afraid for your safety” and “you do not deserve to be treated that way.”
    • “I’m concerned when I see your partner control who you can go out with.”
  • Inform your friend they have rights and options.
  • Support your friend in doing what they decide is best for them.

Reach out

If you or someone you know has been impacted by domestic violence/intimate partner abuse, reach out to OVA for free and confidential counseling, support and advocacy. Drop-in hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday–Friday in C4C N352, or call 303-492-8855. After-hours contact information can be found on OVA’s website.

Find more information online at the "Get Help" page, and follow the OVA Facebook page for events on support and awareness during October.