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Predicting Re-Victimization of Battered Women 3 Years After Exiting a Shelter Program

NCJ Number
American Journal of Community Psychology Volume: 36 Issue: 1/2 Dated: September 2005 Pages: 85-96
Date Published
September 2005
12 pages

This study investigated factors that could predict re-victimization of battered women 3 years after exiting a shelter program.


This study on the factors affecting re-victimization for battered women found that women were at higher risk of being re-victimized 3 years post-shelter stay if certain factors were present in the 1 year prior to re-victimization. These factors included 1) having experienced abuse in the 6 months before re-victimization; 2) having difficulties accessing resources; 3) having problems with the State welfare system; and 4) having people in their social network that made their lives difficult. In addition, the study found that women were at reduced risk of re-victimization if, 1 year prior, they were employed, reported a higher quality of life, and had a social network that provided practical assistance and/or were available for support in personal matters. The primary objective of this study was to identify factors that increased a battered woman's risk of re-victimization after exiting a shelter program. Data for the study were obtained from a sample (n=141) of women recruited from a domestic violence shelter program in Michigan. Of the original sample, 124 women (88 percent) were interviewed 3 years after their post-intervention interview. Information was obtained the women's experience of violence by partners and ex-partners, their quality of life, their level of social support, and their difficulty at obtaining resources. Analyses of the factors indicate that the presence of certain factors in a woman's life 1 year prior to re-victimization increase her risk of re-victimization, while other factors may decrease her risk of re-victimization. These findings suggest that society's failure to provide abused women with adequate social and economic opportunities increases their risk for victimization from intimate partner violence. Study limitations are discussed. Table and references

Date Published: September 1, 2005