Pathways to assistance for victims of intimate partner violence
Stabile, Rebecca Michelle
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Efforts to understand disclosure of abuse for victims of intimate partner violence have largely focused on characteristics of disclosure rather than the consequences of disclosure. Past research has found that disclosure of abuse to formal and informal sources of support is common among victims of intimate partner violence (Fanslow & Robinson, 2010), however little research exists that attempts to explain the effect that disclosure has on a victim’s ability to survive abuse. This thesis draws upon arguments from Edward Gondolf’s survivor theory (Edwards & Gondolf, 1988) and contends that the act of disclosing is an important step in seeking help from public services in order to escape or reduce abuse. It posits that the effect of disclosure of abuse varies across a number of characteristics. Using National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey data, this thesis finds that the effect of disclosure on the likelihood that a victim receives needed services varies across type of support to whom the victim discloses, type of service needed, and seriousness of violence.