Exploring partner violence : experiences of female university students in Durban.
Intimate partner violence remains an international public health concern and a human right issue. Fewer studies have been undertaken to address the impact of partner violence on the well being of female university students. The focus has been mainly on adults’ intimate relationships such as marriage and cohabitation. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the factors contributing to the perpetration of intimate partner violence among female university students in Durban. It also seeks to understand the consequences of partner violence as well as barriers in reducing partner violence among female university. The study used mixed methods of data collection. 15 in-depth interviews and three focus groups discussions were conducted in Durban. Consistent with previous research, this study found that young female university students do experience different forms of intimate partner violence, such as physical violence, sexual and verbal abuse by an intimate partner. It also shows various consequences associated with the perpetration of violence against them. Various reasons were reported as barriers in reducing partner violence against female university students. Young women accept partner violence as normal in intimate relationships. Some cases of violence are not reported in law enforcement institutions by young women which make it difficult to prevent partner violence in intimate relationships. These serve as a cause for concern as it put these women at risk of future violence. There is a great need for intimate partner violence prevention programmes in South African educational institutions including the universities.