Disclosure of intimate partner violence to informal social support network members: a review of the literature

                 
Author(s) Sylaska, Kateryna M., and Katie M. Edwards
Title Disclosure of intimate partner violence to informal social support network members: a review of the literature
Source Trauma, Violence & Abuse, 2014, Vol.15, No. 3, pp 1-21
Date 2014
Document type Journal article
Summary This research review discusses some of the theories applied to disclosure of intimate partner violence (IPV) and identifies three main theoretical frameworks: an ecological model, feminist inspired theories and process models. The review of the literature found support for a number of demographic, intrapersonal, and situational factors influencing a victim's likelihood of disclosing their IPV experiences. A helpful table is included in the paper, comparing 41 studies on IPV disclosures to informal supports, including the sample characteristic and key findings of each study. It was found that the majority of victims of IPV disclose to at least one informal support, such as friend or family member, and victims report that the most helpful reaction following disclosure is emotional support and the least helpful reactions are expressing disbelief and blaming the victim. Disclosure is also associated with a victim's better mental health. Future research is suggested on examining the experiences and perspectives of the informal supports, particularly in connection to IPV programs that encourage this support. Further research is also suggested using more diverse methods such as longitudinal studies and broad sample characteristics.
Keywords Intimate partner violence; disclosure; help seeking; informal supports; domestic violence
Topic

Domestic violence