Surveying ‘Dating Violence’ and Stalking Victimisation among Students at an English University: Findings and Methodological Reflections on Using a US Survey Instrument

Anna Louise Bull, Alexander Bradley

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Domestic abuse and stalking in higher education (HE) have been overlooked in research in comparison to sexual harassment and sexual violence. This article reports on survey data from 725 students at an English university using measures of stalking and ‘dating violence’—physical and psychological violence from an intimate partner—from a US survey instrument (the Administrator Researcher Campus Climate Collaborative (ARC3) survey). According to this measure, 26% of respondents had been subjected to ‘dating violence’ and 16% to stalking behaviours. However, these findings need to be contextualised within a critical discussion about the use of the ARC3 survey tool in the English context. The ARC3 questions on ‘dating violence’ focus on physical and ‘psychological violence’; the questions therefore omit further types of domestic abuse under UK definitions. In relation to stalking, US definitions—as captured in the ARC3 survey instrument—define specific behaviours. By contrast, in England and Wales, stalking involves behaviours that engender fear or distress in a pattern of behaviour over time. These differences mean that the ARC3 modules on stalking and ‘dating violence’ would need to be significantly adapted to be suitable for use in England and Wales.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2023

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