Intimate partner survivors' help-seeking and protection efforts: a person-oriented analysis

J Interpers Violence. 2011 Feb;26(3):539-66. doi: 10.1177/0886260510363422. Epub 2010 May 6.


Domestic violence advocates and researchers advocate for a survivor-centered approach for assisting women experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV), with individualized safety plans and services; yet little empirical work has been done to determine IPV survivors' specific combinations of vulnerabilities and assets that might inform such an approach. Using latent profile analysis of a cohort of 448 survivors, five distinct subgroups were previously identified in terms of biopsychosocial asset and vulnerability profiles. The purpose of the current study was to apply person-oriented methodology for survivor-centered investigation of differences in help-seeking and protective actions according to subgroup membership within this cohort. Though not differing demographically, the subgroups were found to differ significantly and meaningfully in their patterns of IPV help-seeking and protective actions. Thus, reliance on population-aggregate linear relationships between IPV exposure and safety efforts may risk overlooking important variation by vulnerability and asset profile, and knowledge of distinct clusters among functioning profiles may help with understanding of survivors' coping strategies.The authors outline service-need considerations across the subgroups and provide guidance for targeted outreach, locating IPV survivors and matching services to their needs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Battered Women / psychology
  • Battered Women / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depression / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Partners / psychology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spouse Abuse / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors / psychology*
  • Survivors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Washington
  • Young Adult