Date Presented

Spring 4-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Sharon Foreman Kready

Second Advisor

Dr. Laura Kicklighter

Third Advisor

Dr. Virginia Cylke


Dating violence is a crime that plagues college students all over the world. Many students are unaware of what specifically constitutes dating violence and what resources are available to those who are affected by this crime. Colleges and universities tend to have vague or nonexistent rules and regulations regarding dating violence; there is also a lack of education provided to first-year students about dating violence and resources available to them. The present study explored student perception of dating violence and focused on students from small, liberal arts colleges in the central and southwest part of Virginia. Furthermore, this study built upon a base measure of student perception of the crime alone in order to look at the students’ awareness of school policies and procedures in regards to dating violence. While numerous studies have been done on dating violence, this thesis research study sought to look into specific colleges (Lynchburg College, Randolph College, Sweet Briar College, Hampden Sydney College, and Bridgewater College) and how their students are affected by dating violence. The findings from this study revealed these five colleges not only have an overall lack of policies and educational programming in place regarding dating, but also students at these five institutions recognize there is such a lack of resources available to them and desire a change.