Women who have suffered interpersonal violence are more likely to have suicidal thoughts

 
(De izquierda a derecha). Olga Mayoral y Marta Talavera, del Departamento de Didáctica de las Ciencias Experimentales y Sociales de la Facultad de Magisterio.
(De izquierda a derecha). Olga Mayoral y Marta Talavera, del Departamento de Didáctica de las Ciencias Experimentales y Sociales de la Facultad de Magisterio.

The researchers of the Universitat de València Olga Mayoral and Marta Talavera, alongside with the high-level health statistic technician of the Valencian Department for Universal and Public Healthcare, David Martín, have proved that there is a connection between interpersonal violence to 18-25 year-old women (couple or school violence) and suicidal thoughts. The study has been published by the magazine “Journal of School Violence”. It proved that 20.5% of the 540 women that have been interviewed have had suicidal behaviours. Women aging 18 to 21 years-old have the higher rate of suicidal thoughts. Once they reach 21, they are more likely to try to commit suicide.

The results have proved that there is a connection between interpersonal violence and suicidal behaviours. Interpersonal violence on women consists on menacing or causing physical, sexual or psychological violence in order to hurt or control them. Data show that 20.6% of female students have suffered this type of violence in their lives. From this percentage, 10.3% suffered it from their couples, 5.4% from other people and 4.9% from both their couples and other people.

18.1% have had suicidal thoughts and 2.4% have tried to commit suicide. The article explains that there is a connection between interpersonal violence and suicidal ideation. The results conclude that the university female students who have suffered any type of interpersonal violence have a higher probability of having suicidal thoughts than those who don’t experience it.

“Young women should have a series of tools to protect themselves from violence and its consequences,” explain Olga Mayoral and Marta Talavera, researchers of the Department of Experimental and Social Sciences Teaching. According to the article, interdisciplinary education should be promoted at all levels. Children should be educated, as well those professionals that attend vulnerable people to suffer gender-based violence. The Law on Comprehensive Preventive Measures against Gender-based Violence in 2004 considers early education as a way to prevent gender-based violence,” point out the professors of the Universitat de València.

The study is innovative because, unlike other similar works in interpersonal violence that have worked with women aging 20 to 35 years old, the research of Mayoral and Talavera is based on younger and university women. Therefore, they can study how they perceive violence and which are its consequences. They have focused on two important groups of higher education, in terms of prevention and detection of violence or suicidal behaviours. They are students of the degree in Nursing, Infant Education Teaching and Primary Education Teaching.

The study has been made via a survey to 540 UV students of the academic year 2013-2014. Data was collected by means of a questionnaire asking about suicidal behaviours, violence, psychological distress and specific demographic characteristics.

This research is part of the project Salud mental de los jóvenes entre 18 y 30 años que sufren violencia interpersonal y con riesgo de comportamiento suicida, which is financed by the Valencian Department for Universal and Public Healthcare.

The project has been developed by Olga Mayoral and Marta Talavera. They work at the Department of Experimental and Social Sciences Teaching of the Faculty of Education of the Universitat de València. David Martín Baena, a high-level health statistic technician of the Valencian Department for Universal and Public Healthcare, took part in the project, too. The researcher of the Department of Medicine of the Universitat de València, Isabel Montero, participated in the study as well. However, she died before the study was finished.

 

Article:

David Martín-Baena, Olga Mayoral, Marta Talavera & Isabel Montero (2018) The link between violence and suicidal behaviour among female university students in Spain, Journal of School Violence, DOI: 10.1080/15388220.2018.1453823  

Link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15388220.2018.1453823

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