Using a longitudinal and ecological approach, this study examined the relationships between women's material and emotional resources and coping strategies and their ability to stay safe from repeat domestic violence over time.
The study involved a sample of 406 urban, African-American women seeking help for intimate partner violence (IPV) from a community agency. The women were recruited for the study from June 1999 to January 2000. The variables measured pertained to demographics; the severity of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and level of injury; individual emotional resources; individual material resources; social support resources; the range of strategies to deal with the violence; and reabuse. The average age of participants was 33. The study found that women who were employed and women living on their own or with family were less likely to report reabuse; however, women who relied on their partners for transportation or money for food or rent were no more likely to report reabuse than other women. Consistent with normative resource theory, women's emotional well-being may promote women's safety by increasing opportunities for self-determination and autonomy. The finding that higher levels of social support correlated with fewer reports of reabuse reinforces previous studies. When all of the variables significant at the univariate level were entered into a multivariate model that included interactions, the correlation of resistance strategies with reabuse was maintained; and there was a significant interaction between history of violence and social support, such that for women with histories of lower levels of violence, social support strongly predicted reabuse. For women with histories of severe violence, however, social support and reabuse were unrelated. None of the material resources, quality of life, or placating strategies remained significant in this model. 4 tables and 1 figure
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