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William F. Connell School of Nursing

Amar recieves NIH funding to examine reporting of dating violence

Assistant Professor Angela Amar has been awarded funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at NIH for her project entitled "Help seeking in college women," to determine attitudes and beliefs associated with reporting dating violence in college women.



Assistant Professor Angela Amar has been awarded funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institute of Health (NIH) for her project entitled "Help seeking in college women," to determine attitudes and beliefs associated with reporting dating violence in college women. College women are at greater risk of intimate partner violence, rape, and other forms of sexual assault than women in the general population or in a comparable age group.

Through a survey, Amar will examine the thinking that differentiates individuals and victims who intend to report dating violence from those who do not. The knowledge gained will aid in the planning of an intervention program to target specific attitudes and beliefs, in order to increase reporting and disclosing intimate partner violence.

"Violence against women is a significant public health and societal issue, associated with immediate and long term physical and mental health consequences," says Amar. "Many victims don't disclose their experience or seek healthcare or mental health counseling. But when violence is undetected and treatment is not provided, the health consequences increase." Amar hopes that the findings she gains will allow health professionals to enhance the screening and surveillance procedures for identifying individuals who have experienced intimate partner violence.

Amar, who received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and her master's and bachelor's degrees from the Louisiana State University School of Nursing, is also the force behind Boston College's new forensic nursing program, designed to meet the demand for trained nurses in emergency departments and other hospital, clinical, and prison settings to provide care to victims of crime. Her research is focused on understanding traumatic experiences, particularly violence, and mental health responses in adolescent and young adult females.