Barriers to domestic violence help seeking: implications for intervention

Violence Against Women. 2005 Mar;11(3):290-310. doi: 10.1177/1077801204271959.


Data were obtained from the Chicago Women's Health Risk Study, in which 491 abused women were interviewed in public health centers and a hospital. Responses of a subgroup of these women who did not seek help through the identified interventions are examined. Common themes emerge across the help-seeking interventions studied: individual thresholds for the seriousness of the violence, a perceived requirement to end the relationship, and certain specific barriers. The responses provide a glimpse into abused women's reasons for not seeking particular interventions. Implications for public health, mental health, domestic violence counseling agencies, and the police are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Battered Women / psychology
  • Battered Women / statistics & numerical data*
  • Chicago
  • Communication Barriers*
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Spouse Abuse / prevention & control
  • Spouse Abuse / psychology
  • Spouse Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women's Health