Intimate partner violence among students of the University of Nairobi

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This was a cross-sectional study on intimate partner violence (IPV) among students of the University of Nairobi. The study sought to determine the forms of IPV prevalent amongst University of Nairobi students, investigate factors influencing it and to establish its consequences. The study was guided by the social learning theory. The unit of analysis was the individual male or female student. The study consisted of 100 male and female students, who had been or are in a relationship. Data were collected through, structured interviews; key informant interviews, and focus group discussions. The study findings show that physical, sexual and verbal/emotional violence is prevalent among students at the University of Nairobi. The study also shows that physical violence is the highest form of intimate partner violence. Secondly, the study shows that the main cause of intimate partner violence among students is infidelity and mistrust. Other factors that influence IPV are alcohol and drug abuse, and socialization of the victims and perpetrators, where they learnt that it is okay to beat a woman/man when the occasion called for it. Lastly, the study found that the main consequences of IPV among students are unwanted pregnancies, discontinuation of studies, and attempted suicide, poor academic performance, seclusion from family and friends and, in worst cases, death from suicide. This study concludes that intimate partner violence is prevalent among university students. It is influenced in' one way or another by social norms learned in various environments. It has serious consequences in leading to death in some cases. This study recommends that sensitization on gender- based violence and in particular intimate partner violence be carried out by trained professionals to enlighten both the student community and the administrative staff.

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