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Links Between the Police Response and Women's Psychological Outcomes Following Intimate Partner Violence

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2015
17 pages
Since virtually no research has considered the psychological impact of institutional support for survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV), this study sought to fill this gap by examining associations between one component of institutional support—the police response—and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity and post-trauma appraisals (i. e., anger, fear, and self-blame) in a diverse sample of female IPV survivors (N = 236).
Results indicated that a more negative police response, as operationalized by women's unmet expectations in relation to the police, was significantly associated with greater PTSD symptom severity in a very conservative test that involved controlling for personal resources and social support. Police response was not significantly associated with the tested post-trauma appraisals. Implications for policy and practice are discussed. This study advances understanding of the psychological impact of the police response—one key component of institutional support. (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Published: January 1, 2015