Examining the Impact of Duration, Connection, and Dosage of Domestic Violence Services on Survivor Well-Being

Leila Wood, Bethany Backes, Elizabeth Baumler, Maggy McGiffert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Survivors of domestic violence (DV) have a wide range of needs when they seek help from DV programs. While there is growing evidence that advocacy and other supportive services for DV survivors are helpful for increasing wellbeing, little is known about the mechanisms that best promote these goals. This study sought to further understand the role of survivor advocacy and service duration on survivors’ physical and mental health, safety, and needs. Structured interviews were conducted with a sample of 150 women recruited from 16 DV programs across seven regions in a southwestern state. Independent variables included overall service duration, time with advocate, and feelings of connection with advocate. Bivariate and regression analyses were conducted to test associations of the advocate-survivor relationship and length of time in services with physical, social, and psychological outcomes. The majority (75.8%) of survivors indicated decreases in abuse since obtaining services. Frequent needs included housing, counseling, and safety planning. Regression analysis indicates longer service duration and increased connection with an advocate were significantly associated with a greater number of survivor needs being met. No other independent variables were significant in regression models, but several covariates reached significance. This study adds to the growing and needed body of literature on survivors’ experiences with DV services and associated outcomes. Advocates should prioritize connecting with clients in favor of a priori service goals based on time limits. Further study can be used to better understand health outcomes for survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-233
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Advocacy
  • Counseling
  • Housing
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Mental health
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Law
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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