SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • intimate partner violence;
  • outcome and process assessment (health care);
  • program evaluation;
  • spouse abuse (counseling)

This descriptive study explores perceived changes in health and safety and the potential process by which these changes occur. Forty-nine women experiencing intimate partner abuse participated in a health care–based domestic violence (DV) advocacy program for 6 months or more. An analysis of structured interviews in English and Spanish found that the majority of participants perceived positive changes in their personal safety and emotional health because of their involvement in the program. Some participants also perceived improvements in their physical health, unhealthy coping behaviors (e.g., overeating and smoking), and health care following program involvement. Participants' responses suggest a process of change whereby DV advocacy services first contribute to improved safety and emotional health, which then facilitates behavioral changes. Behavioral changes may subsequently contribute to improvements in physical health, which may also benefit emotional health. Longitudinal evaluations are needed to evaluate the impact of DV advocacy and other interventions for partner abuse on women's health and safety over time.