When does a battered woman seek help from the police? The role of battered Women's functionality

Hee Yun Lee, Eonju Park, Elizabeth Lightfoot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study explores how women's functional limitations resulting from domestic violence lead to police involvement. Examining functionality is a broader approach to exploring domestic violence outcomes than looking at injuries or impairments, and in this study we look at the social participation aspects of social functioning. One hundred eleven battered women in four metropolitan cities in the U. S. participated in anonymous telephone surveys. Approximately 80% of the battered women in the sample were involved with the police due to their experiences of domestic violence. Women's functionality was significantly associated with battered women's police involvement after controlling for socio-demographic and violence-related covariates. The current study identifies one aspect of women's functioning-social participation-as a critical predictor of their seeking of help from the police, and suggests implications for practice, including the need for police and domestic violence agencies to have awareness of the concept of functional limitations within a broader context of understanding disability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-204
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments The David & Lucile Packard Foundation and the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station (MIN-55-019) funded this research. The Principal Investigators were Jeffrey L. Edleson and Sandra K. Beeman. The authors wish to thank the staff of the Domestic Abuse Project, Inc. in Minneapolis, La Opportunidad in St. Paul, the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, the Support Network for Battered Women in Mountain View, CA, and the Family Place in Dallas for their collaboration in this study.

Keywords

  • Disability
  • Domestic violence
  • Functional limitations
  • Functionality
  • Help-seeking
  • Police involvement

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