43% Of College Women Experience Abusive Dating Behaviors

Just how common is abuse in college relationships? Research indicates almost half of all college women have suffered abuse from one of their partners.

Results from a survey initiated by Knowledge Networks aims to shine a light on a disturbing reality many college women find themselves experiencing, often without any idea how to end the abuse or how to seek the help they need.

“Forty-three percent of college women surveyed

said they had been in an abusive relationship.”

In fact, according to the survey, 38 percent of the 330 college women surveyed stated they wouldn’t know where to seek help on campus if they ended up in an abusive situation. This news is troubling on its own, but even more worrying is the study found 43 percent of the college women they surveyed had already found themselves in an abusive relationship, with a distressing 22 percent of college women surveyed reporting physical violence, sexual abuse or threats of physical violence.

Unfortunately, these findings match up with previous studies looking into the dating lives of college women. These studies indicate that not only have most college women experienced abuse at some point in their dating life, but more than half (57 percent) of those women experienced the abuse while they were in college.

No survey about abuse in college relationships has ever indicated college students feel supported by their institution or know where and how to seek help in the event of abuse.

These surveys indicate educating college women on abuse needs to be a more prominent element of their experience at school, especially considering that despite the fact 52 percent of college women report knowing someone who suffered abuse, 57 percent of college students find it difficult to identify an abusive relationship when they see one.