“We look at Snow White when the prince comes up and kisses her while she is asleep,” Malsam said.“And it’s this big romantic moment, but under the law, that kiss is sexual assault because she wasn’t in capacity to say yes or no.“People assume you wouldn’t be dating someone who is violent, so then when you find yourself in that situation it’s hard to be like, ‘this isn’t going well for me.’” For students on campus, observing the signs of domestic violence is difficult because of the oftentimes unnoticeable nature of the crime.

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“We like to ask, instead of ‘why doesn’t the victim leave,’ ‘why doesn’t the offender stop beating or abusing her?

’ It is a natural instinct to think why don’t they just leave, and it is hard to understand, but it isn’t just as easy as that.” Officials interviewed agreed that education and awareness are key to recognizing and helping stop domestic violence.

“It doesn’t matter if you are educated or a male or female, domestic violence has been around.” “People don’t think that the crime can happen, but it does.

It happens all the way up: race, age, education,” Humphrey said.

“You would have no problem calling in a drunk driver, but you would think twice if someone grabs another,” Chavez said. ” “[The other hard thing is] if we are paying attention and we see that a friend of ours is in an unhealthy relationship, what do we do? “We all have this capacity to put on our superhero cape and swoop in and save the day, making the assumption that your friend wants to be saved.

Sometimes they don’t or they aren’t ready to accept that part of their relationship yet.” Victims need to make the decision themselves to leave the relationship and often it will take about seven times and going through a cycle of abuse before the victim leaves for good, Malsam said.

For this reason, many domestic violence crimes do not get reported because the victim will be fearful to report or leave the offender.

“Domestic violence is about power and control that a person wants over another person,” Johnston said.

Seventy percent of people who are murdered by their partner are murdered after they leave the relationship, because the offender will often feel as if they lost control and try to get it back with force, according to Laura Williams, volunteer coordinator at Crossroads Safehouse in Fort Collins.

“It is more than just a decision [to leave],” Williams said.

During orientation when first year students set foot on Colorado Mesa University’s campus, employees hold domestic violence presentations.