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Using a Longitudinal Data Set to Further Our Understanding of the Trajectory of Intimate Violence Over Time

NCJ Number
Date Published
109 pages
Data collected during 1989-96 from 278 women who had been residents of a shelter for battered women formed the basis of an analysis of several aspects of domestic assault, with emphasis on the impacts of access to victim services on further abuse and on the duration of positive outcomes.
The study also focused on the factors that explained victimization over time and differences in victimization by former partners over time. The data came from interviews conducted immediately upon the women’s exit from the shelter; 10 weeks later; and at 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, and 36 months. The 10-week post-shelter intervention involved randomly assigning trained advocates to work one-on-one with women, helping generate and mobilize community resources they needed to reduce their risk of repeated victimization. Results supported the hypothesis that increased social support and access to community resources improved the quality of life of women with abusive partners and protected them from further victimization over time. Furthermore, women who received the free services of a community-based, strengths-based intervention were more likely than others to report increased social support and less difficulty obtaining access to community resources; these factors led to higher quality of life and reduced risk of future victimization over time. Findings indicated that community-based, strengths-focused interventions that are tailored to meet participants’ individual needs can have a long-lasting impact on the lives of women with abusive partners. Tables, figures, and 133 references

Date Published: January 1, 2000