Spotting the signs of domestic abuse on university campuses

A Scottish university has launched a campaign against gender based and sexual violence, making students aware of potential signs of an abusive relationship.

Glasgow Caledonian University originally launched their #GCUEraseTheGrey campaign in May 2018, and have been endeavouring to equip their students with the knowledge necessary to spot if they or someone else might be in an abusive relationship.

Domestic abuse can take many forms, but usually involves a partner, husband or wife acting in a physically, emotionally or sexually abusive way towards their spouse. Anyone can be affected by an abusive relationship, and it’s important to be aware of the warning signs.


Physical abuse is often spoken about, which can make it easier to spot the warning signs. However, the less-talked about aspect of domestic violence is emotional abuse, which can be harder to detect in a relationship. Some signs include if your partner:

  • belittles you or puts you down
  • blames you for their actions
  • denies the abuse is taking place and makes you doubt yourself
  • stops you from seeing your family or friends
  • stops you from working or attending higher education
  • controls the finances, making you reliant on them for money
  • demands all of your attention
  • accuses you of cheating
  • tells you what to wear, what to post on social media, what to text or say on the phone
  • threatens you or makes you worry about your safety

Emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse, and the signs can be harder to spot, as they’re often based on manipulation and gaslighting – making you doubt your own sanity or experiences.


Thankfully more awareness is being raised surrounding the issue of domestic violence, and Scotland is leading the way in zero tolerance.

In April this year, the Scottish Government launched their ‘groundbreaking’ new law to tackle domestic abuse, which makes psychological abuse and controlling behaviour a crime. Ahead of the law change, police officers were prepared with training, to enable them to help victims and survivors in the best way possible.

If you are in an abusive relationship, or suspect someone you know may be in one, there are plenty of resources that can offer support and prepare you to leave the relationship if you want to start making plans to do so.

Leaving is easier said than done, particularly if you have been isolated, are dependent on them financially, or have children with your partner. But it is important to remember that you have done nothing to warrant any abuse and the support is there to help you leave whenever you’re ready.


The support groups below (apart from AMIS) have a ‘quick exit’ button, to leave the page immediately should you need to.

Zero Tolerance

Scottish Women’s Aid

Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline


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