skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 237853 Find in a Library
Title: Help-Seeking Behaviors and Reasons for Help Seeking Reported by a Representative Sample of Women Victims of Intimate Partner Violence in New Zealand
Journal: Journal of Interpersonal Violence  Volume:25  Issue:5  Dated:May 2010  Pages:929-951
Author(s): Janet L. Fanslow; Elizabeth M. Robinson
Date Published: May 2010
Page Count: 23
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The authors of this study reported on the help-seeking behaviors of the women who had experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner.
Abstract: Efforts to understand and support the process of help seeking by victims of intimate partner violence are of considerable urgency if we are to design systems and responses that are capable of actively and appropriately meeting the needs of victims. Using data from the New Zealand Violence Against Women Study, which drew from a representative general population sample of women aged 18 to 64 years, the authors report on the help-seeking behaviors of the women who had ever in their lifetime experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner (n = 956). More than 75 percent of respondents reported that they had told someone about the violence, indicating that it is not necessarily a “secret and private” problem. However, more than 40 percent of women indicated that no one had helped them. Informal sources of support (family and friends) were most frequently told about the violence but not all provided helpful responses. Fewer women told formal sources of help such as police, health care providers, and not all provided helpful responses. Women’s reasons for seeking help and for leaving violent relationships were similar and included “could not endure more,” being badly injured, fear or threat of death, and concern for children. Women’s reasons for staying in or returning to violent relationships included perception of the violence as “normal/not serious,” her emotional investment in the relationship, or staying for the sake of the children. The findings suggest that broader community outreach is required to ensure that family and friends are able to provide appropriate support for women in abusive relationships who are seeking help. Continued improvement in institutional responses is also required. (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Domestic assault
Index Term(s): Family support; Female victims; Informal support groups; New Zealand; Victim services
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.