Moving beyond disclosure: women's perspectives on barriers and motivators to seeking assistance for intimate partner violence.
To investigate women's perceptions of motivators and barriers to seeking help or accessing intimate partner violence (IPV), services six focus groups were conducted in rural and urban settings in North Carolina between June and August of 2002. Coding and theme analysis were used to summarize themes among the 67 focus group participants. The majority of participants were African-American (87%). Participants reported three main categories of motivators: gaining knowledge; reaching an emotional or physical breaking point; and growing concern about children's safety. Participants reported six main categories of barriers: pressure not to talk about, or address IPV; failure to recognize events as IPV, or that IPV was wrong; self-doubt and low self-esteem; fear of losses; fear of perpetrator; or desire to protect the perpetrator. This study documents the difficulties that women face accessing or using services related to IPV. We need to address perceived barriers and better use the opportunity when women experience motivation to seek help and access services.
Petersen, R; Moracco, KE; Goldstein, KM; Clark, KA
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