Title IX of the Education Amendments Act requires institutions of higher education to respond to issues of sexual violence. However, research indicates that students often do not recognise behaviours characteristic of interpersonal violence unless blatantly physical in nature, even though emotional and sexual violence are equally common. Because students may not recognise these behaviours as interpersonal violence, these issues often go unreported, leading to long-term consequences, including anxiety, continued victimisation, depression, difficulty maintaining relationships and/or school failure. Additionally, those residing in rural communities are less likely to acknowledge and/or report such victimisation due to protecting the deeply entrenched ‘close-knit’ relationships. This chapter presents findings from a survey designed to measure undergraduate perceptions of interpersonal violence. Members of the research team attended 12 randomly selected junior and senior-level classes at a rural, liberal arts, teaching university. Students (n=247) viewed a series of vignettes depicting both violent and non-violent forms of interpersonal violence. Participants then provided basic demographic information and indicated whether each vignette demonstrated instances of interpersonal violence. Analysis accounted for differences in gender; race; whether the student, or someone they know, previously experienced interpersonal violence; and whether the student previously attended a programme educating students on the signs and symptoms of interpersonal violence. Findings confirm that education is effective for helping students recognise interpersonal violence. Expanding educational resources will aid campus college administrators in proactively reducing Title IX issues and effectively responding to Title IX issues after the fact.
May 2022 onwards
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