​The impact of appraisals and context on readiness to leave a relationship following intimate partner abuse

Author(s) Matlow, Ryan B. and Anne P. DePrince
Title The impact of appraisals and context on readiness to leave a relationship following intimate partner abuse
Source Violence Against Women, Sep 2015; Vol. 21, No. 9, p1043-1064
Date 2015
Document type Journal article
Coverage USA
Summary This study uses the change model to explore readiness to leave an abusive relationship, by examining the relative impact of symptoms and appraisals as well as contextual and demographic factors. The participants in the study were 177 women who had experienced an IPV incident that was reported to police and assessments were undertaken shortly after the incident and one year later. Six posttrauma appraisals were measured in the study: betrayal, self-blame, fear, anger, alienation and shame. Of these appraisals higher levels of shame predicted a lower readiness to leave and higher levels of fear predicted increased readiness to leave one year later. The authors suggest that appraisals of an IPA incident may be as important, or even more important as posttraumatic stress symptoms in understanding readiness to leave an abusive relationship. Contextual factors were also explored and it was found that women's level of dependence on the perpetrator was inversely related to readiness to leave, The number of stalking and harassment behaviours perpetrated by the offender before the IPV incident was also found to be associated with readiness to leave the relationship. Implications of the results of the study for service providers are also discussed in this article.
Keywords Domestic violence; IPV; barriers; support; readiness to leave; appraisals; fear; shame; stages of change
Topic Domestic violence