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Rural Australian women's legal help seeking for intimate partner violence

Author(s) Ragusa, Angela T
Title Rural Australian women's legal help seeking for intimate partner violence: Women intimate partner violence victim survivors' perceptions of criminal justice support services
Source Journal of Interpersonal Violence, March 2013, Vol. 4, pp 685-717
Date 2013
Document type Journal article
Coverage NSW Australia
Summary In this study the experiences of 36 rural women who had experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) were explored through in-depth interviews to explore victims' access to legal support, particularly police and courts. It was found that legal support was not sought by 61% of the women and reasons for this included lack of knowledge and fear of further abuse. Childcare responsibilities and absence of paid employment affected the women's economic ability to seek legal support. Police were called by 86% of the women, with 42% calling police for four or more incidents. The women reported both positive and negative interactions with the police. In general women were largely dissatisfied with their court experiences and added to their emotional distress already experiencing from the IPV. A number of areas are identified by the author as needing improvement to better assist IPV victims such as the challenges around anonymity in rural areas, and the importance of police behaviour and attitude, as they were generally the preferred first contact.
Keywords IPV; intimate partner violence; rural; regional; support; domestic violence; rural sociology
Topic Domestic violence; service delivery