At times when we think or hear about relationship abuse, we think about domestic
violence. However, not all abusive relationships are romantic ones. These kinds of relationships include college roommate abuse. Just like in romantic relationships, these types of abuse can be physical, emotional, and verbal. There are times when these kinds of situations don’t get talked about as much as they should be. We should all come together to get the word out about these situations.
What is Roommate Abuse?
Roommate abuse can mainly happen on college campuses when you’re sharing a dorm room with someone. College students living on campus are usually assigned roommates during their freshman year. Just because you get assigned a roommate, doesn’t mean that you will stick with them for the whole year. Sometimes people switch rooms due to problems. Roommate abuse occurs when your roommate makes you feel scared to go back to their dorm room at the end of the day. No student should be afraid to go back to their dorm room
Signs Someone Is Experiencing Roommate Abuse:
They become silent
They hide bruises
They try to avoid going back to their dorm room
They make excuses for their roommate’s behavior
They act scared around their roommate
What to Do
Report to an RA
Tell a professor
Talk to a counselor
Talk to campus security
Call the police – If you fear for your life
If you see it happening say something
Call your parents
My Personal Story:
I remember how excited I was to go to college and be away from my parents for the first time. When I got there, I met a girl who wasn’t my roommate at the time but lived on the same floor as me. We talked a lot and became friends. In fact, we hung out so much that we decided to become roommates and I thought that it was going to be great, but I was wrong.
During the first week of us being roommates, we ordered pizza and struggled to find the pizza guy. We both thought he went in different directions, and she got mad because I didn’t believe that we were going the right way. I thought it was nothing, but it then started to get worse. Every little thing I did made her angry and I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t have a personal conversation with her because she would get mad and accuse me of being mean. I was always understanding when she told me about personal stuff, so it made no sense why she couldn’t do the same.
One time, we went to an amusement park and although I had a blast, she was mad
because nothing was going her way. She took all her frustration out on me and when I tried to calm her down, she accused me of throwing a temper tantrum and embarrassing her. When we went to a show and when I got the chance to volunteer to be a part of it, she started whining. So, I gave her my spot just to shut her up. But she still complained and said that I ruined the trip for her. The next morning, she got a sore throat and blamed me for it. I broke down in front of my professor and my counselor that day because I didn’t know what to do and I was afraid. She
would threaten to move out and for some reason, I would beg her not to.
When I talked to my counselor about it, she would tell me that it wasn’t my fault and that I wasn’t a bad person. I learned that when people blame others when things don’t go their way, it shows how they can’t take responsibility for their actions. Other times they don’t want to face the fact that they can be responsible for things not going their way.
When I got into my first relationship, she got jealous and made me feel bad, but then she got a boyfriend of her own and I thought that would fix things, but it didn’t. She accused me of being rude to her boyfriend when I never was. I respected him and he respected me. Whenever one of our friends came around and saw my roommate mistreat me, she wouldn’t do anything to help me. In fact, when she got into a relationship, she became meaner to me. I wanted to tell her boyfriend, but I knew that it would just make things worse. When I tried to talk to her about it, she accused me of saying I didn’t like her boyfriend, and when I tried to get help from the RA’s
she firmly told me to never tell anyone again.
One thing that really got me upset is that she would wait until the next day to get mad at me for nothing. For instance, one night after a date, she brought her boyfriend to the room to check it out. I was tired that night but said hi to him and the next night she said I was rude to him, and I was confused. I never ignored him. Then she had a double date in our room and never told me, and it was my room too so she couldn’t kick me out. The next day she said I ruined her double date, and I was so upset.
When her boyfriend dumped her, she took her stress out on me by pushing me into a thorn bush and spreading rumors about me. I’m glad no one believed those rumors though.
That summer I was depressed and in so much pain that I was scared to return for the fall semester. I stopped eating the amount of food I should have and lost some weight. I would even cry myself to sleep and have nightmares. So, I finally told my parents what happened, and they helped me get through it and encouraged me not to let her scare me off. My mom showed me the series, “The Facts of Life” which inspired me to go back to college and finish what I started.
One episode from the show that really helped me was the episode where Jo hit Blair out of anger. I thought of what would have happened if I did something like to my roommate, and the consequences of if I had done so. Another episode that helped me was the pilot because Blaire judged Cyndy for who she was and then she learned not to let people turn her into someone that she isn’t. Each character taught me something, Tootie taught me not to be afraid to be myself, Jo taught me not to let people push me around, Natalie taught me the meaning of friendship, Blair taught me to be proud, and Mrs. Garrett taught me that there are consequences to your actions.
Now, I share my story to help encourage college students to never keep roommate abuse a secret because doing so will only make the situation worse. You should never be afraid to go back to your dorm room. Roommate abuse is something that needs to be talked about on all college campuses before the start of each semester.
Bold and Beautiful,
Morgan is an Atlanta, Georgia native who is quite the creative. She’s an actress and a screenwriting student in L.A. who is passionate about film and healthy relationships. She also loves playing the guitar and the drums.