Factors Influencing Resource Use by African American and African Caribbean Women Disclosing Intimate Partner Violence

Marguerite B. Lucea, Jamila K. Stockman, Margarita Mana-Ay, Desiree Bertrand, Gloria B. Callwood, Catherine R. Coverston, Doris W. Campbell, Jacquelyn C. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Many victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) do not access services. Education and severity of physical violence have previously been shown to predict resource utilization, but whether these hold true specifically among women of African descent is unknown. This article furthers our understanding of the relationship between IPV and resource use, considering sociodemographics and aspects of IPV by presenting results from a study conducted with African American and African Caribbean women in Baltimore, Maryland, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Of the 545 women included in this analysis, 95 (18%) reported emotional abuse only, 274 (50%) reported experiencing physical abuse only, and 176 (32%) had experienced both physical and sexual abuse by an intimate partner. Resource utilization was relatively low among these women, with only 57% seeking any help. Among those who did, 13% sought medical, 18% DV, 37% community, and 41% criminal justice resources. Generalized linear model results indicated that older age and severe risk for lethality from IPV and PTSD were predictive of certain types of resource use, while education, insurance status, and depression had no influence. Perceived availability of police and shelter resources varied by site. Results suggest that systems that facilitate resource redress for all abused women are essential, particularly attending to younger clients who are less likely to seek help, while building awareness that women accessing resources may be at severe risk for lethality from the violence and may also be experiencing mental health complications. In addition, greater efforts should be made on the community level to raise awareness among women of available resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1617-1641
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number8
StatePublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • domestic violence
  • help-seeking
  • intimate partner violence
  • resource utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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