PW 0952 Violence experience and safety concerns among us female college students

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Abstract

Violence against women is a major global public health problem. Sexual violence disproportionately affects college women and impedes their ability to participate fully in campus life. This study aimed to investigate violence experience and perceived campus safety among female college students in the United States, and to compare the differences in risk of experiencing violence and perceived safety by race and international student status. We analyzed data collected in fall 2016 from the National College Health Assessment conducted among a national representative sample of undergraduate college students. Both male and female students were asked about their violence experience and perceived campus safety during the past 12 months. Only female undergraduate students were included in this study. Logistic regressions were performed to compare subgroup differences adjusting for age, class standing, region, relationship status, and school clusters. Of 17 833 female students included, 27.3% reported experiencing at least one type of the following six violent events during the 12 months prior to the survey: physically assault, verbally threat, sexually touching without consent, sexual penetration attempt without consent, sexual penetration without consent, and stalking. Regarding perceived campus safety, 7.8% of female students felt unsafe on campus or in the surrounding community at daytime, and 29.9% felt unsafe on those two scenarios during nighttime. Asian/Pacific Island female students had 12%–42% lower odds of experiencing most types of violence when compared to other race/ethnic groups. No significant differences were found in the odds of experiencing each type of violence between international and domestic female students. In conclusion, female college students are at risk of experiencing sexual and other types of violence, regardless of their international student status. More evidence-based violence prevention programs are needed to ensure campus safety.

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