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The help-seeking process among women victims of partner violence in Italy

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Looking for support has a central role in the process of escaping violence. This study aims to investigate which sources of help women victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) contacted before arriving at an anti-violence centre (AVC), and to analyse the links with the women's characteristics, their history of violence and the involvement of children. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 151 women arriving at five AVCs in Italy, where they filled in a self-administered questionnaire. Women reported high levels of violence; children were closely involved. Only two women reported no previous contact with sources of help; 33.1 per cent of the sample contacted four or more sources. Non-Italian women were more likely to contact four or more sources of help; having children was linked to more contacts with social workers; more severe violence was linked to more contacts with law enforcement agents. When children were involved in violence, the odds ratio for contacting four or more sources of help increased significantly, also after controlling for women's nationality (adjusted odds ratio 9.47, p<0.05). This study provides evidence of the active behaviour of victims of violence and of the role played by children's involvement in women's help-seeking behaviour.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Email: [email protected] 2: Email: [email protected] 3: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 February 2018

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Gender-Based Violence (JGBV), is the first international journal based in Europe to show case the work of scholars across disciplinary and topic boundaries, and from a range of methodologies.

    The journal acknowledges both the breadth of gender-based violence (GBV) and its links to gendered inequalities. It aims to continue to document the voices and experiences of victims and survivors of GBV, to publish work regarding those who perpetrate GBV and of the varied and complex social structures, inequalities and gender norms through which GBV is produced and sustained. The journal recognises the intersection of gender with other identities and power relations, such as ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, faith, disability and economic status.

    JGBV will publish high quality papers that contribute to understanding of GBV, policy, and/or activism, on sexual violence, domestic abuse, ‘honour’-based violence, prostitution, trafficking and/or reproductive violence and abuse in a wide range of intimate, familial, community and societal contexts.

    The editors invite interest from scholars working across the social sciences and related fields including social policy, sociology, politics, criminology, law, social psychology, development and economics, as well as disciplines allied to medicine, health and wellbeing.

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