Study shows both genders at risk for violence at university

A study led by Elizabeth Saewyc from the University of British Columbia found that nearly one in five students in university experience physical or emotional violence, often the result of alcohol.
The study was published in the June issue of Journal of Adolescent Health. The research found that 17 per cent of men and 16 per cent of women had reported some form of violence in the past six months while at university. The University of British Columbia reports:

“Whether it’s from intimate partners or relative strangers, violence has a significant effect on young people’s health,” says Saewyc, a professor in the School of Nursing and lead author of the study. “At university, the stress from experiencing violence can affect students’ grades, their mental health, even their long-term physical health. When nearly one in five young people report recent violence, that’s a serious concern for campus health services.”

Both genders reported that intimate partners were the aggressors in almost half of the emotional abuse and 20 per cent of the physical abuses. At the university level both genders are equal when it comes to being the victim of violence. Saewyc worked with researchers at the University of Wisconsin and University of Washington in Seattle to survey more than 2,000 students for the study. The findings found that alcohol can increase the incidents of violence. One in three women and 59 per cent of the men had consumed alcohol at the time of being victimized. The results of the study could lead to new guidelines for men in university.

“There are established guidelines that recommend screening women for intimate partner violence in routine clinical care on campus, but not for men. This study shows we need the same routine screening for young men, too,” says Saewyc.

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