Recognition of and attitudes toward intimate partner violence among sampled university students
Fear of stigmatization and shame keeps many women from reporting intimate partner violence (IPV). 'Normalization' of violence in contemporary culture often results in inability to recognize behaviors as violent or controlling. This research assessed university students’ recognition of intimate partner violence and analyzed their attitudes toward IPV. Subjects were surveyed on attitudes toward IPV and abilities to accurately identify scenarios of intimate partner violence. Ability to identify resources for victims of IPV on campus was also examined. Of 381 male (n=151) and female (n=230) university students 97% were able to accurately identify the scenario that did not depict intimate partner violence. Recognition rates were high (90%) for scenarios describing physically violent IPV. However, only 51% identified IPV behaviors involving control, coercion, and threats not involving physical violence. Female participants were statistically more likely than males to accurately identify IPV. Over 55% believed IPV was a problem on their campus and 75% of participants disagreed with all statements depicting abusive and violent behaviors as acceptable. Sixty-two percent believed that their specific university had resources available for IPV victims but only one third were able to identify any of those resources. Results indicate that though women may be more capable of identifying IPV than men, identification of IPV becomes more complex when physical violence is absent. Results have implications for understanding and addressing high rates of gendered violence, and may help to explain why many cannot recognize what is identified by law as harassment, coercion, violence, and abuse.
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Describe university students' difficulty in recognizing intimate partner violence.
Compare male and female university students' ability to recognize intimate partner violence.
Discuss the difference in male and female university students' ability to recognize intimate partner violence.
Assess university students' inability to identify university resources available for victims of intimate partner violence.
Keyword(s): Violence & Injury Prevention, College Students
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: During the 25 year I have been a professor of health education I have focused on intimate partner violence in a number of my classes and have supervised graduate research on sexual violence.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.