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Relationship violence is a pattern of behavior in which one partner uses fear and intimidation to establish power and control over the other partner. This abuse happens when one person believes they are entitled to control another.

It may or may not include sexual assault, physical abuse, and emotional abuse.

On Friday, July 17, university administrators and student activists from across the District of Columbia gathered at Georgetown University for “A Conversation with Katie Ray-Jones, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline” to discuss how schools in DC are already addressing dating violence and sexual assault, what steps still need to be taken and how The Hotline and loveisrespect can be better resources for college campuses.

The event had representation from Georgetown University, George Washington University, American University, Catholic University of America, Howard University, University of District Columbia, and University of Maryland – College Park.

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This innovative clearinghouse includes the latest research, sample campus policies, protocols, best practices, and information on how to access training opportunities and technical assistance.

Lynn Rosenthal, former White House advisor on violence against women and current vice president of strategic partnerships at The Hotline, opened the event with a call to action to the students in the room to engage more deeply with the issues of dating violence and sexual assault. Ray-Jones provided context for the event by describing The Hotline and loveisrespect’s services, drawing attention to the array of tools the organization offers to serve teens and young adults.

Following her remarks, she moderated a panel with nine students from across the District, giving them a chance to provide feedback about their experiences as student activists working on the issues of dating violence and sexual assault.

In response to a question about the biggest obstacles facing college campuses in addressing sexual violence, students talked about a variety of concerns.

Several observed that campus culture has to be open to combating sexual assault and dating violence.

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