Intimate partner violence victimization among college students with disabilities: Prevalence, help-seeking, and the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and intimate partner violence victimizationedit
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a major public health issue. Almost one third of college students in the U.S. experience IPV victimization. However, existing studies have focused primarily on college students without disabilities with little to no attention to college students with disabilities. In addition, few studies have explored the patterns of help-seeking and the relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and IPV victimization among college students with disabilities. This study aimed to explore the prevalence of IPV victimization, ACEs, and help-seeking, the patterns of survivors’ help-seeking behaviors, and the relationship between ACEs and IPV victimization. Data from a cross-sectional online survey, which was conducted with samples from six universities in the U.S. and Canada (N = 3,308) between March 2016 and June 2017, were used. Descriptive bivariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed. The results show clear evidence that compared to college students without disabilities, college students with disabilities experienced higher rates of IPV victimization and ACEs. In addition, 42% of the survivors with disabilities sought some sort of support and they sought more formal support than their counterparts without disabilities. Furthermore, the associations between ACEs and IPV victimization among college students with disabilities were substantial after controlling for other risk factors. Specific, targeted university policies and programs as well as increased investment in programs that prevent ACEs are urgently needed to reduce violence against college students with disabilities.