Dating Violence Attitudes, Experiences and Perceptions of Women in College: An Indian Context
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The purpose of this study was to understand the attitudes, perceptions and experiences of college women in modern India with regard to intimate partner violence, specifically dating violence. Surveys were collected from 489 undergraduate female participants. Only 99 participants (20%) were or had been in a dating relationship. The participants in this study self reported both perpetrating and receiving violence in these relationships. A significant positive relationship was found between dating violence perpetration and victimization and four risk factors: witnessing and experiencing abuse in one's family of origin, attitudes justifying wife beating, and problem behaviors associated with alcohol use. A significant negative relationship was found between anger management skills and the perpetration and victimization of violence in dating relationships. Finally, even though the rate of dating and alcohol use is low in India, the problem behaviors associated with these phenomena are very similar to those identified in the United States. Although much is known about domestic violence and wife assault in the Indian context, there is almost no information or effort in the direction of prevention and education in the realm of dating violence. While India is advancing technologically, creating new opportunities for its youth, there is no simultaneous effort being made to protect its youth from risks of urbanization and cultural shifts. The young adults of India today are joining the global economy. However, there is no system put in place to educate and nurture their social and cultural evolution. Findings from this study suggest that as the youth open themselves up to the culture of dating and premarital courtship, there needs to be a parallel effort made to educate and train them about healthy relationships.
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