Applied Research

Understanding the Prevalence & Severity of Intimate Partner Violence Among Students at Lambton College

Bluewater Health, Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Treatment Centre, Women's Rural Resource Centre

Challenge/Opportunity:

The purpose of this research project is to develop an understanding of the prevalence and severity of violence that Lambton College students experience and its potential health impacts. One in five college aged women (20%) will be the victim of an attempted on completed sexual assault during her college years. Dating violence is most prevalent in populations aged 16-24 where the risk increases to four times that of the general population. Currently on college campuses, 21% of college students report having experienced dating violence by a current partner and 32% experienced dating violence by a previous partner. Despite awareness and violence prevention programs, intimate partner violence (IPV) is a huge threat to student’s health and wellbeing. Although dating violence can be perpetrated by either gender, women are seven times more likely to experience IPV. Intimate partner violence is a pattern of physical, sexual and/or emotional violence in the context of coercive control by an intimate partner (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000) and disproportionately affects women (Campbell & Kendall-Tackett, 2005). Although all women are potentially at risk for IPV, the risk is alarmingly high in certain socio-politically marginalized subgroups including low income as well as visible minority status/Aboriginal status. It is critical to understand which students are most at risk to experience violence on campus and in the community. Violence is a traumatic stressor with multiple negative health impacts that are both acute and chronic in nature and well documented in the literature. Women who experience violence often experience chronic health problems. These health effects can significantly diminish women’s ability to carry out functions of daily living which can have impacts on educational pursuits and jeopardize student success.

Solution/Collaboration:

The goal of this project is to begin to assess the prevalence and severity of violence that students at Lambton College experience. Awareness of violence on college campuses is increasing and it is critical that organizations and institutions have appropriate and evidenced-based strategies to strategically address and prevent violence on campus.


Funder: Research Innovation Fund (RIF)
Researcher: Rachel Colquhoun
Area: Health & Wellness

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