Half of Turkish students who date are subjected to abuse: Study

“Dating abuse” is a rising problem in Turkey, particularly among college students, according to a new study conducted by a student at Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University.

Some 51.6 percent of students told researchers that they are involved in “romantic relationships” while 52.9 percent of those said they were subjected to “dating abuse,” described in the report as “psychological harassment or physical aggression.”

Some 52 percent of respondents admitted that they had been abusive, with 60.79 of those saying they harassed their target “because they were jealous.” Other abusers said they harassed by shouting or limiting social life.

Research for the report was carried out in 2016 and was published on Nov. 13 under the title: “College Students’ Attitude and Behavior Toward Dating Harassment.” It was prepared by student Mehbare İftar under the supervision of Assistant Professor Güngör Güler.

The report also revealed that 6.25 percent of victims said they were touched without their consent and 4.54 said they were raped.

Some 36.8 percent of the participants who admitted to being abusers said they themselves were abused in previous relationships, while 13 percent of those who said they were abused in previous relationships said they are not abusers.

The study also showed that abusers are overwhelmingly men, while most victims are between the ages of 20 and 22.

Meanwhile, almost one-third of the respondents – 28.5 percent – said they have witnessed domestic abuse.

Male participants who said they had witnessed domestic abuse also had a higher tendency to engage in harassment.

The report stated that in order to address the rising problem of “dating abuse,” school administrations should establish support centers and families should help increase gender equality awareness at home. It also stated that children should be provided with more rehabilitation and psychological support services, particularly if they are subjected to domestic abuse.

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