, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 103-132

The Process Through Which an Advocacy Intervention Resulted in Positive Change for Battered Women Over Time

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A prior experimental evaluation of a community-based advocacy program for women with abusive partners demonstrated positive change in the lives of women even 2 years postintervention (C. M. Sullivan & D. I. Bybee, 1999). The current study explored the complex mediational process through which this change occurred, using longitudinal structural equation modeling and formal tests of mediation. As hypothesized, the advocacy intervention first resulted in women successfully obtaining desired community resources and increasing their social support, which enhanced their overall quality of life. This improvement in well-being appeared to serve as a protective factor from subsequent abuse, as women who received the intervention were significantly less likely to be abused at 2-year follow-up compared with women in the control condition. Increased quality of life completely mediated the impact of the advocacy intervention on later reabuse. Discussion places advocacy for women in the context of other efforts that are needed to build an effective community response to preventing intimate violence against women.