Quantitative Analysis of the Relationship Between Empowerment and Hope for Safety Among Domestic Violence Victims
Methods: Clients of a domestic violence shelter were asked to complete an exit survey to assess perceptions of empowerment captured by a three item ILOC measure. The ILOC measure was based on Levenson’s Multi-dimension Locus of Control Inventory that uses a 5-point Likert scale. Total scores were grouped into three categories; the low ILOC group with scores from 3-9, the medium ILOC group with scores from 10-12, and the high ILOC group with scores from 13-15. Feelings of hope for safety were captured by a six item measure built using Snyder’s State Hope Scale and an 8-point Likert scale.
Results: An omnibus one-way ANOVA (N = 53) to determine if the mean score for hope for safety differed across low, medium and high ILOC groups revealed a statistically significant (F = 8.606, df = 2, 50, p = <.05) difference across groups with a large effect size (ŋ2 = .256; suggesting that about 26% of the variance of hope for safety is due to perceptions of empowerment) and an observed power of .959. Post-hoc Tukey HSD tests revealed significant differences (p <.05) in hope for safety across the following groups: Group 1 (low ILOC; n = 20, M = 30.1, SD = 14.1) and Group 2 (medium ILOC; n = 15, M = 42.3, SD = 6.1) and Group 3 (high ILOC; n = 18, M = 42.9, SD = 9.2).
Conclusions: The results suggest a positive relationship between empowerment and hope for safety among domestic violence victims. The implication is that interventions that increase ILOC will also increase hope for safety, which in turn will result in an increase in positive longitudinal behaviors associated with the pursuit of safety from domestic violence.