This study investigated the frequency, severity, and consequences of intimate partner violence against 91 Athabaskan women living in Alaska.
Results indicated that 63.7 percent of the participants reported experiencing intimate partner violence during their lifetime. Nearly one out of five of the women reported intimate partner victimization during the past year. Thirty-one percent of the victims were pregnant during the most recent episode of intimate partner violence. Survey findings also revealed that 78 percent of the perpetrators were under the influence of alcohol during the latest offense and that 36.2 percent of victims required medical care. Convictions were achieved in half of the cases reported to police. The findings suggest that violent victimization at the hands of intimate partners was more frequent among Athabascan women who participated in this survey when compared to national samples of women living in the United States. Despite the greater prevalence of victimization, women in the survey rated their experiences with police as very satisfying. The findings illustrate the importance of recognizing the importance of cultural and geographic diversity when attempting to extrapolate or generalize findings to specific groups from data gathered on a national level. Research methods involved either face-to-face interviews or telephone administered surveys with 91 female Ahtna descendents living in the Copper River Basin who were identified for participation through snowball sampling. The methodology of the National Violence Against Women survey (NVAW) was adopted, in which incident reports were based on the offender. The survey also included questions related to the victim’s relationship with the offender, the involvement of drugs or alcohol in the violent incidents, time and place of victimization, injuries sustained, whether assistance was sought, and the victim’s perceptions of formal system responses. The statistical analysis involved comparisons of the Ahtna sample with a sample of female victims from the United States. Limitations of the research include the possibility of a biased sample. Tables, figures, references, appendixes
Date Published: July 1, 2006