For both women and men, most reported incidents were in the mild and moderate violence categories. Table 3 shows frequencies for physical injury associated with dating violence in the past 12 months and since age 14, based on the subsample of respondents who reported having experienced any physical violence in the corresponding time period. The summary measure indicates that In this subsample, the aggressor was identified as a steady dating partner or spouse by One-third of women and Among those who did tell someone, Did victim tell someone about the most severe incident of physical dating violence since age 14?
In this sample of women and men enrolled in a Chilean public university, we found high levels of physical and psychological dating violence. Overall, these patterns, as well as the parallel ones for physical victimization since age 14 and for psychological victimization in the past 12 months, are generally consistent with study findings for other countries discussed above.
Regarding the contexts of the most severe incident of physical violence since age 14, the finding that none of these incidents were reported to the police - not even those involving severe violence - supports the notion that official statistics seriously underestimate the magnitude of the problem. This finding also suggests the importance of educating youth about definitions of dating violence and protections provided by the law. Friends were identified as the most common confidants when respondents did tell someone about the incident, suggesting that prevention and response programs should include education of peers on how to identify signs of risk in their friends, and on how to support survivors and help them locate additional resources when needed.
Most subjects identified a steady dating partner or spouse as the perpetrator of the most severe incident of physical violence since age This result is consistent with U. Finally, witnessing interparental violence can have serious impacts on child well-being and has also been found to augment risk of future dating violence victimization and perpetration Lewis and Fremouw , O'Keefe The large proportion of subjects who reported witnessing such violence indicates a need for further attention in Chile to this public health concern.
The present study has some limitations. Although the sample encompassed students enrolled in all educational programs offered by the university, it was not random and the results cannot be generalized to the whole student body. Our results on dating violence prevalence should be viewed as conservative estimates, as survivors often underreport their experiences Lewis and Fremouw , Koss et al.
In addition, a considerable number of students were absent from class when the survey was administered; school absenteeism has been linked with a variety of health risk behaviors Bachman et al. Finally, the survey did not specify criteria for defining the "most severe" incident of dating violence; this ambiguity may account for some of the non-response to the questions pertaining to the contexts of such incident.
The findings of this study suggest that dating violence in Chilean youth is a public health issue that warrants further attention, beginning with the collection of additional quantitative and qualitative data. If the high levels of dating violence indicated by our results are corroborated by additional studies, next steps will include the development and evaluation of theory-based programs for prevention and response in educational institutions and NGOs serving youth. Prevention programs implemented in the US have sought to address factors including gender role stereotypes, conflict-management and communication skills, and attitudes regarding the acceptability of violence in interpersonal relations Foshee et al.
A recent review of international research on gender-based violence notes that the knowledge base regarding the effectiveness of programs to prevent and respond to physical partner violence and sexual violence against women is limited, because few initiatives have been rigorously evaluated Bott et al. Throughout Latin America there is also substantial economic inequality between men and women Chant and Craske ; the corresponding unequal distribution of power within households yields an economic environment that is conducive to violence against women.
The Chilean legal landscape has both reflected and contributed to these socioeconomic and cultural conditions. For example, divorce was illegal until , even in cases of spousal abuse, and the first law regarding workplace sexual harassment was passed in The high levels of spousal abuse in Chile, with women predominantly as the victims, take place against the backdrop of this environment. It is likely that women lose ground in the power balance in intimate relationships as they become mothers, often assuming primary responsibility for the care of their children and seeing their earnings capacity adversely affected DOMOS Assaults against women in marital or cohabiting unions are generally more severe than those that take place in the context of dating, and research and interventions to date in Chile have focused on the former.
Yet the case for not continuing to neglect dating violence is compelling: This study is part of a larger project on gender-based violence in youth in Chile. We thank the administrators of the university where the survey was conducted for facilitating our access to the General Education courses offered during the Winter term of , and Vaughn Rickert, Psy. We are also thankful to Shrikant Bangdiwala, Ph.
National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Author manuscript; available in PMC Jun Lehrer , a Evelyn L. Lehrer , b and Zhenxiang Zhao b. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. See other articles in PMC that cite the published article.
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Abstract Numerous studies have documented high levels of intimate partner violence in Chile. Statistical analysis SAS, Version 9. Results The subjects ranged in age from 17 to 30 years, with a median age of 20 years in both the female and male samples.
Open in a separate window. Mild Violence Scratched or slapped me Women Men Panel A: Subject reports the following happened due to a fight with the partner: Subject reports that at least one of one of the following things happened due to a fight with the partner: Table 5 Did victim tell someone about the most severe incident of physical dating violence since age 14?
Within this subgroup, 60 women and 68 men responded to the questions on whether they told someone about the incident and if so, to whom. Prevalence and contexts of victimization In this sample of women and men enrolled in a Chilean public university, we found high levels of physical and psychological dating violence. Limitations The present study has some limitations. Next steps The findings of this study suggest that dating violence in Chilean youth is a public health issue that warrants further attention, beginning with the collection of additional quantitative and qualitative data.
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Acknowledgments This study is part of a larger project on gender-based violence in youth in Chile. Violence against women in partner relationships: Latin America and the Caribbean-- A Proposal to measure its magnitude and development.
Retrieved February 15, from http: Efficacy of a dating violence prevention program on attitudes justifying aggression. Journal of Adolescent Health.follow url
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