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Help for those in unhealthy relationships

One in four women, one in three men experience violence with partner

By Paityn Viall
On February 8, 2017

February is Teen Dating Violence National Awareness Month, which  promotes the importance of young men and women to understand what constitutes healthy and unhealthy relationships, as well as where to get help if it is needed. 

According to, “Approximately 57 percent of college students report it is difficult to identify dating violence.” Unhealthy relationships have become a growing issue in the United States, particularly in recent years where technology has changed the way people view relationships, as stated on the website. 

Also according to, “More than one in three women and one in four men will be in a violent relationship during their lifetime. Of these women and men, approximately 50 percent of women and 40 percent of men will experience this abuse for the first time between 18 and 24 years old.”

One Kirkwood Community College student discussed her experience with a friend who was in an unhealthy relationship. “My best friend was in an unhealthy relationship,” said Jane Smith.* 

“When her boyfriend finally broke things off with her one night, she was so torn up that she threatened to commit suicide. He was just so mean to her. I knew something wasn’t right but I just didn’t know how to help her,” Smith added. 

According to, about 58 percent of college students are unsure of how to help someone who is in an unsafe relationship. Talking to a parent or school counselor is one way to get help. 

Kirkwood offers free counseling services to students. On the main campus, students can stop by 108 Iowa Hall or call 319-398-5540, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Students on the Iowa City campus can stop by the One Stop office or call 319-887-3658, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

There are also many other options for help both online and offline. Young adults can call’s toll free number, 866-331-9474, at any time, day or night. 

For young adults who may be more comfortable not discussing things over the phone, an interactive online chat option is also available through the website. 

However, as stated on the site, if the problem is an emergency, victims should call 911 immediately instead of using the hotline or online chat service.

*Editor’s Note: Name has been changed to protect the identity of a student.

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