Barriers to Seeking Police Help for Intimate Partner Violence
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Intimate partner violence is underreported to police. A study was conducted utilizing focus group methodology to identify women's perceptions of the barriers to seeking police help for intimate partner violence (IPV). Facilitators used a structured format with open-ended questions for five focus group sessions that were recorded and subsequently analyzed using Ethnograph software. Participants were 41 women identified from social service agencies in an urban setting serving IPV women with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Participants identified many barriers for victims, which fell within the following three themes: (1) Predisposing characteristics — situational and personal factors; (2) fears and negative experiences with police response; and (3) fears of possible repercussions. Participants also described positive experiences with police and generated a “wish list” for improving police response to IPV. Policies and actions that can be taken by police and social service agencies to address the barriers IPV victims face in seeking police help are discussed.
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- Barriers to Seeking Police Help for Intimate Partner Violence
Journal of Family Violence
Volume 18, Issue 2 , pp 121-129
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
- Additional Links
- intimate partner violence
- domestic violence
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Washington
- 2. Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, Seattle, Washington
- 3. Department of Health Services, University of Washington, Washington
- 4. School of Medicine, University of Washington, Washington
- 5. Department of Political Science, University of Washington, USA
- 6. Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Washington