INTRODUCTION: This descriptive study was conducted to determine the level of awareness of child abuse and neglect (CAN) among students at a private university in Istanbul, Turkey.
METHODS: The study sample comprised 1533 students from all faculties and colleges of the university selected using the stratified sampling method. A demographic information form and the Child Abuse and Neglect Awareness Scale (CANAS) were used to collect the study data.
RESULTS: The findings revealed that 30.5% of the students had received some instruction about CAN and 72.9% indicated that they wanted lectures on CAN to be added to the curriculum. The mean total score of the CANAS and the mean scores of the physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect subscales were statistically significantly higher among female students (p<0.05). The physical abuse and neglect subscale scores of students who had formal education on abuse were higher than those of students who had not (p<0.05).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The female students and those who had received instruction about abuse had greater awareness of abuse and neglect. Broader coverage in the curriculum may increase the awareness of all students and help to enhance public understanding.