Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Social Work

Abstract

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is currently described by trauma researchers as a social epidemic (Briere & Jordan, 2004) . The array of domestic violence services we currently have in the United States were started 30 years ago by women victims assisting other women. Currently, the services we have for victims of IPV are largely unchanged and the literature lacks information on what is helpful to victims of IPV in a domestic violence counseling setting. The research points to the fact that women seeking domestic violence counseling experience an array of physical and mental health sequelae as a result of the violence. This study utilized a mixed-methods embedded design to explore the counseling services at domestic violence agencies from the points of view of both counselors and clients. The study looked at the interventions offered and their perceived helpfulness as well as the trauma symptomatology of survivors of IPV and the relationship factors between counselors and their clients. Three main categories emerged from the survivor and counselor data as important in domestic violence counseling: importance of the relationship, counselor's knowledge of domestic violence, and the specific interventions used.

Briere, J. & Jordan, C. E. (2004). Violence against women: Outcome complexity and

implications for assessment and treatment. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 19, 1252-1276.

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