Am I Responsible to Help Peers in Abusive Dating Relationships?: Learning from a Qualitative Study

Saturday, 26 July 2014: 7:45 AM

Claudia Kor Yee Chan, RN, MSc
Division of Nursing and Health Studies, The Open University of Hong Kong, Homantin, Kln, Hong Kong

Young people’s attitude towards dating violence and perceived barriers in responding peers in abusive dating relationships may contribute to their willingness to help peers in abusive relationships. 


This study explored the university students’ intention to prevent dating violence and identify the barriers in responding peers in abusive dating relationships by using qualitative approach.   


Twenty university students were recruited at Dating Café Ambassadors Programme to educate peers in helping to prevent dating violence on university campus. Participants were followed for 3 workshops of participant observations and a focus group interview.  An interview guide was used for data collection.  Interview questions included what is the definition of dating violence, why do you / don’t you help peers in abusive relationships, do you perceive it is your responsibility to help, and describe your expectation of a healthy relationship.  Data were analysed using content analysis. 


Results showed that the barriers in responding peers in abusive dating violence included low awareness of dating violence on campus; and lack of skills and resources to help.


The lessons learned from the qualitative study findings will help in develop and refine dating violence prevention and intervention for university students.