Bachelor´s thesis: University students’ experiences on dating violence
In September 2022 a social science thesis investigating university students’ experiences on dating violence was completed. The purpose of the research was to gather information on the subject and to improve accessibility.
Dating violence is defined as violence between couples of all ages, but the term usually references to violence of teens and young adults of ages 15-25-year-olds. In 2021, a student of Satakunta university of Applied sciences conducted a study concerning the Finnish students’ experiences on dating violence. In 2022 the research of the same subject was continued as a part of a social science thesis and the thesis was completed in co-operation with student well-being and accessibility development group of Satakunta University of Applied Sciences. Total of 141 students participated on this study. The purpose of this thesis was to increase the accessibility of the research by including both Finnish and international students of the university.
Most students do not seek help for dating violence
The research method used for research was a questionnaire and it was sent to all the Students of Satakunta University of Applied sciences. To increase the accessibility of the research the questionnaire was available in both Finnish and English. The research showed that of the Finnish-speaking students 58 % (76) and 11% (1) of the international students had experienced dating violence. The dating violence experienced by the students had many forms but the most common type of violence the students had experienced was mental abuse such as verbal abuse and degrading. Most Finnish-speaking students 88% (67) and none of the English-speaking students did not seek help for the experienced dating violence. The most common reason why students didn’t seek for help was because they didn’t know how to, or they felt shame in doing so.
Preventing dating violence and increasing accessibility in the university
Dating violence is a sensitive subject that affects both Finnish and international students alike. Of the Finnish students 43 % and 67 % of the international students thought that the university should act against dating violence. 30 % of the Finnish students and 67 % of the international students thought that the university should try preventing dating violence. Suggestions to help prevent and act against dating violence were for example to increase knowledge and organize courses about crisis control. This study highlights the importance of researching dating violence and considering it when considering improving the student’s wellbeing.
It's also important to improve accessibility so that all the students are taken into accord when doing further research on dating violence so that the university can best help the students receive the help and information they need, but to also improve the equality among the students. The accessibility can be improved further by taking into accord students with possible functional limitations so that they can also take part in the research. Such limitations can be issues with eyesight and a need to use a screen reader to answer a questionnaire. The research should also be translated into more languages since Finnish and English might not be enough to allow all the students to take part in the research, to answer the questions and to be able to receive information and the help they might need.