A national study on dating violence in a university context revealed that psychological aggression is the most frequent, followed by acts of social, physical and sexual violence.
The data collected between April 2017 and January 2020 had 3,256 participants and made known not only the percentage of situations of violence but also issues related to beliefs about social gender relations.
Respondents’ responses gave, for example, the indication that 3.6% of women and 15.4% of men agree that jealousy is a proof of love while 2.3% of women and 3.1% of men disagree that men and women should have equal rights and duties.
Of the total participants in the study that aims to characterize this social scourge from the perspective of university students, 53.9% reported that they had already been subjected to at least one act of dating violence and 35% had already practiced it.
Although dating violence is suffered and practiced by both sexes, it is men who practice violence the most.
Regarding the type of violence, psychological is highlighted as the most prevalent in dating relationships, followed by social violence, physical violence and, finally, sexual violence.
Of the total respondents, 23.4% of women and 19.6% of men have already been criticized, insulted, defamed and accused without reason and 20.7% of women and 11.1% of men have already been controlled in the way of dressing , in hairstyle or image, in places frequented, in friendships or companies.
The study also reveals that 16.4% of women and 9.4% of men have already been threatened verbally or through behaviors that cause fear, such as screaming, breaking objects or tearing clothes.
Also according to the data collected, 14.1% of women and 9.7% of men have already been prevented from contacting family, friends and or neighbors and 13.9% of women and 10.3% of men have been prevented from work, study or go out alone.
Another aspect revealed by the study is that 10% of women and 7.9% of men have already been physically hurt, pushed, kicked or slapped and 9.5% of women and 5.2% of men have already been forced to have sexual behaviors unwanted.
Of the total respondents, 6.9% of women and 5.5% of men have already suffered death threats, attacks on life or injuries that forced them to receive medical treatment.
Those who practiced and those who suffered violence during dating have more conservative beliefs about gender social relations than those who have neither practiced nor suffered violence.
Men are those who have more conservative beliefs about social gender relations.
The work reveals that 12.2% of women and 27.4% of men agree that some situations of domestic violence are caused by women and 5.9% of women and 11.8% of men agree that women who remain in violent love relationships are masochistic.
The National Study of Dating Violence in a University Context: Beliefs and Practices is an initiative of the Plano i Association under the UNi + Program, funded by the State Secretariat for Citizenship and Equality (1st and 2nd editions) and by the European Social Fund under Portugal 2020 Social Inclusion and Employment Operational Program (POISE) (3rd edition).