The Prevalence and Perceptions of Cyber Dating Abuse among Undergraduate Students in Nairobi County, Kenya
Malenya, Francis Likoye
Ogeno, Jackton O
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Background: The advancement of technology has contributed to the rise of intimate partner violence perpetrated through technology. Whereas research indicates that intimate partner violence is a common phenomenon, relatively little is known about cyber dating abuse (CDA) among Kenyan undergraduate students. This study sought to assess its prevalence and understand perceptions held regarding behaviors that constitute Cyber Dating Abuse. Johnson‟s typology of intimate partner violence was used to investigate the prevalence of certain forms of cyber dating abuse. Materials and Methods: The study sample comprised 315 dating students drawn from selected universities in Nairobi County, Kenya. Using a cross sectional research design, the study collected both qualitative and quantitative data. Results: Results indicate a high prevalence of Cyber Dating Abuse among respondents. Coercive control violence was the most pervasive form of abuse. Respondents exhibited ambivalence towards Cyber Dating Abuse. Majority perceived most of the acts to be rather normal than abusive. Just over a third had contrary opinion, reporting that depending on the contexts and the kind of relationships they were involved in, they constituted abuse. These misguided perceptions held by the respondents led to the justification of Cyber Dating Abuse hence its prevalence. Conclusion: It is concluded that misconception contributed to the respondents‟ failure to recognize this abuse thus increasing their chances of suffering from Cyber Dating Abuse. This has an implication on preventive measures to be adopted so as to mitigate on negative effects on students‟ academic engagement.