Perceptions of Violence against Women among College Students in the United States, Japan, India, Vietnam and China

Margaret Carlson, Akiko Kamimura, Ha Ngoc Trinh, Wenjing Mo, Niwako Yamawaki, Haimanti Bhattacharya, Hanh Nguyen, Angie Makomenaw, Ryan Birkholz, Lenora Olson


Violence against women is a global health issue that threatens the health and human rights of women. Intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence are the most common forms of violence against women. While previous studies examined incidence of IPV and other forms of violence against women in the United States (US), little is known about variations in the perceptions of violence against women among college students in other countries. This study explored differences in perceptions of violence against women among college students in the US, Japan, India, Vietnam and China. A total of 1,136 college students from these countries participated in a self-administered survey in 2012-2013. The students’ perceptions about the prevalence of domestic violence is in their country varied across countries. Furthermore, more than half of the students across the countries perceived alcoholism and drug addiction to be causes of domestic violence against women. It was also found that the levels of knowledge about laws on domestic violence in their country varied among the students. These findings show the importance of understanding country level variations that may affect violence against women. The results of this study provide important insights by documenting cross country variations in students’ perceptions about violence against women that can provide helpful inputs in framing country-specific programs and policies to prevent violence against women.

Keywords: Violence against women, perceptions, college students, the United States, Japan, India, Vietnam, China

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