This study explores how chat and text services are provided in one intimate partner violence (IPV)- and sexual assault (SA)-focused community organizations and finds that chat/text services provide a space for connection, resource provision, education, and access to resource gain in a timely, concise, and survivor-centered way.
This study attempts to fill a gap in research on virtual service models in agencies that work with survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual assault (SA) by exploring how chat and text services are provided in one IPV and SA-focused community organization. Results indicate chat/text services provide a space for connection, resource provision, education, and access to resource gain in a timely, concise, and survivor-centered way. Findings highlight the utility of chat/text services for increasing access to support services for survivors of violence, particularly adolescents, emerging adults, those living with an abusive individual, and during times of emergency. The authors analyzed chat and text transcripts (n = 392) from a large multiservice, multivictimization focused agency, and conducted interviews with 11 advocates providing chat and text services through the agency hotline. Staff interviews were analyzed using grounded theory and transcripts were analyzed using content analysis. The five major goals for chat/text advocacy models include the following: (1) rapid access to support and connection; (2) identification of options and needs for each service user; (3) increased access to resources and supports; (4) expanded understanding of violence, abuse, and harm; and (5) improvement of survivor safety. The research team identified 15 general advocacy skills and 4 chat and text specific skills used by chat/text advocates to reach program goals. Future research should continue to explore the promising practice modality of chat/text services for providing advocacy to underserved and hard-to-reach populations. (Published Abstract Provided)
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