Date of Award
Program or Major
Doctor of Philosophy
Intimate partner violence is a public health concern, and intimate partner violence victim help seeking is the focus of many intervention/prevention policies and programs. Help seeking by victims of intimate partner violence from formal support services, such as the police, domestic violence shelters, and/or rape crisis centers, is relatively low (Kaukinen 2002; Davies, Block, and Campbell 2007; Campbell 2008; Kaukinen, Meyer, and Akers 2013; Zaykowski 2014), and the research which considers the nature of help seeking among those victims who seek help is quite limited. This dissertation investigates the nature of formal help seeking among intimate partner violence victims who seek help from a hotline, victim service program, and/or law enforcement. Specifically, the influence of individual and community characteristics on formal help-seekers as well as the impact of community characteristics and state on the relationship between individual characteristics and the nature of help seeking by intimate partner violence victims who sought formal help are examined. To address the nature of help seeking, I consider both the type(s) of help sought and the number of times a victim sought help following an incident of violence.
This analysis is conducted using data from an evaluation of Service Training Officers Prosecutors (STOP) Violence Against Women grant funded programs conducted by the Urban Institute. The evaluation data were collected from eight states, 26 communities and 1,509 women. Multilevel modeling regression and logistic regression models are fit to examine the effects of individual and community characteristics and cross-level interactions between individual and community characteristics and states on formal help-seekers help seeking.
Three significant and important findings deserve special attention. First, informal social support is negatively associated with the number of times help was sought from formal support services. The relationship between informal social support and intimate partner violence help seeking from formal supports suggests that more research is needed to understand how informal social support influences the nature of formal help seeking. Are the types and amount of formal help seeking by formal help-seekers influenced by informal social support? Second, where a person lives is related to intimate partner violence help seeking. Thirdly, community characteristics and states moderate the relationship between individual characteristics and formal help seeking. The second and third findings suggest that to gain a full understanding of the nature of help seeking, the analysis must go beyond characteristics of the individual and include characteristics of the community and state in which they reside. Lastly, this study adds to the literature by using a sample of formal help seeking intimate partner violence victims, and by examining multiple types of formal services and whether those services were accessed and the number of times those services were accessed.
Wiesen-martin, Desiree Ruth, "NATURE OF FORMAL INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE HELP SEEKING: THE INFLUENCE OF INDIVIDUAL AND COMMUNITY CHARACTERISTICS" (2017). Doctoral Dissertations. 2294.