Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Tuesday, 1 July 2008 16:58 UK

Students reveal domestic violence

Domestic abuse posed by actors
One in three women in Wales is thought to suffer some domestic abuse

Almost two thirds of students in Wales know women whose partners or boyfriends have hit them, a survey suggests.

Four out of 10 know women who have been coerced or pressured into sex by their partners, the poll of 733 students for the NUS and Amnesty International says.

And a third said a woman was at least partly responsible for being raped or sexually assaulted if they were drunk.

Amnesty International called for the Welsh Assembly Government to run a violence prevention campaign.

The Welsh arm of the human rights pressure group said there was a shocking level of tolerance of sexual violence among students, similar to that of the wider population.

Programme Director for Amnesty International Wales Cathy Owens said: "If we are going to break the cycle of violence that sees a third of all women in Wales suffering from some sort of violence, then we need to start by challenging attitudes towards violence against women amongst students and the population at large.

"The Welsh Assembly Government should consider a comprehensive campaign aimed at preventing violence - making it far less acceptable on our campuses and in our communities."

These results confirm not only that domestic abuse amongst students occurs far too often but that students don't know where to turn
Jo Roberts
Women's Office for NUS Wales

The poll also showed that students were unsure where to turn for advice about domestic violence.

Some 46% of those polled said they felt they had enough information and support to deal with abuse.

Just under half (47%) said they would urge the victim to tell a counsellor or a tutor.

And 39% would encourage the woman to report it to the police, but some 22% said they would not and a further 22% said they were not sure.

More than two thirds (70%) said there should be services on campus to help students who have suffered from violence.

Jo Roberts, women's officer for the National Union of Students Wales, which helped run the survey at 10 Welsh universities, said she had been calling for better support services for students who had suffered domestic violence.

"These results confirm not only that domestic abuse amongst students occurs far too often but that students don't know where to turn when it happens," she said.

Welsh Assembly member Nerys Evans said she was disappointed at the results of the survey.

She added: "With a committee inquiry into how the assembly government is combating domestic abuse, now is the time to look again at how much we are investing in both preventing abuse and helping victims."


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