Symposium Theme/Importance: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a prevalent public health problem with significant negative consequences for survivors, children, families, and society-at-large. Survivors often experience mental health concerns, physical health problems, lowered self-esteem, financial and housing insecurity, and risk for continued and future IPV victimization (e.g., Dichter et al., 2017; Dillon et al., 2013; Fanslow, 2017). Children exposed to IPV are also more likely to experience internalizing and externalizing behavior problems, trauma symptoms, and child maltreatment (e.g., Evans et al., 2008). Research suggests that negative outcomes associated with IPV may be mitigated by certain coping efforts, particularly, IPV survivors' and perpetrators' help-seeking efforts aimed at receiving acceptable and beneficial services for them and their families (e.g., Rizo et al., 2017). However, help-seeking and subsequent engagement in services are impacted by a number of factors, including prior experiences receiving services, service preferences, availability of acceptable services, and policy. The current symposium will share findings related to survivors', perpetrators', and service providers' perceptions regarding IPV coping efforts, help-seeking experiences, and service engagement. We will first provide an overview of stress and coping theory and share findings from a qualitative study using this theory to examine survivors' coping and help-seeking efforts. Then we will present and discuss results from structural equation modeling that highlight key malleable correlates of help-seeking intentions among active-duty Air Force members who indicate perpetrating at least one form of family maltreatment. Lastly, we will present findings from two projects focused on understanding barriers to help-seeking and service engagement among male perpetrators of IPV in Israel from the perspectives of perpetrators and service providers.
Description of Presentations: The first presentation will provide a description of stress and coping theory. A qualitative study examining the perceptions of IPV survivors and service providers regarding coping and help-seeking will be used to empirically examine the utility of stress and coping theory as applied to IPV survivors' coping and help-seeking experiences.
The second presentation will incorporate an integrative framework of behavior/behavioral intentions to assess plausible correlates of help-seeking intentions among active-duty Air Force members who indicate perpetrating at least one form of family maltreatment. Using a large, probability sample of active-duty Air Force members, results from structural equation modeling will be reported and discussed.
The third presentation will explore the perceptions of service providers regarding males who use violence in intimate relationships. Using qualitative data from focus groups with directors of domestic violence centers, the study will focus on policy and practice in Israel that affect these men's help-seeking and engagement in intervention programs.
The fourth presentation will examine the perceptions of males who received services in domestic violence treatment centers in Israel. We will discuss the threat to their masculinity, the way these men perceive the treatment they received, and what they feel helped them through this process.
Following the four presentations, the presenters will facilitate a discussion focused on broader implications from this research and ensuring that help-seeking efforts result in acceptable and effective services for survivors, perpetrators, and their children.