Domestic Violence Among University Women

Faculty Sponsor

Matthew Ringenberg


Arts and Sciences


VU Social Work Department

ORCID Identifier(s)

0000-0001-6331-6086; 0000-0002-4943-258X; 0000-0001-8724-7994

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-3-2019


Domestic violence (DV), or intimate partner violence, is defined as "violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving the violence abuse of a spouse or partner." This study examined if there are statistically significant differences between the rates of domestic violence experienced by women of color and by white women who have been in heterosexual relationships. Our research question was "Do college-aged women of color experience higher rates of DV than their white counterparts in heterosexual relationships?" We hypothesized that our research would find that college-aged women of color were more likely to experience DV than their white counterparts in specifically heterosexual relationships. The data for our study was collected from heterosexual women at Valparaiso University from different racial backgrounds.

Previous studies found a statistical difference between how different groups, whether by race or by gender, define domestic violence. Women of color in heterosexual relationships were found to experience greater rates of domestic violence than white women. This presentation will examine if that trend holds true among university women who have been in heterosexual relationships as well.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Michelle, Zedrea, and Makyma are 3 senior year social work majors. In selecting this project on domestic violence, they wanted to focus on a topic that is important to them and that would identify changes that need to be in society and in their campus community. Michelle has interned in a domestic violence shelter and Zedrea and Makyma also recognize the relevance of domestic violence in our society and how it needs to be addressed.

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