Recent Submissions

  • Measuring the Prevalence of Interpersonal Violence Victimization Experience- and Self-Labels: An Exploratory Study in an Alaskan Community-Based Sample

    Johnson, Ingrid (Springer Link, 2023-02)
    Purpose How victims of violence against women (VAW) label their experiences and selves can be important for help-seeking, but descriptive research on the prevalence of experience- and self-labels among VAW victims is limited. This study sought to fill some of the gaps in this quantitative literature using new measurement tools. Method The current study used quantitative survey data from a weighted sample of 1694 community-based women in Alaska who had experienced VAW (determined using behaviorally specific items) to measure the prevalence of a variety of labels these victims could apply to their experiences and selves. Results Generally, victims of specific forms of violence had minimal agreement on the terms they used to label their experiences. The most commonly endorsed label was 28.5% of those who had experienced alcohol or drug involved sexual assault applying the label rape to their experiences. Across all victims, the most commonly endorsed self-label was survivor, with one-quarter to one-third endorsing this label, depending on the subsample. Roughly one-tenth used the self-label victim across all subsamples. Conclusion VAW service providers should consider labels used to promote services and how to increase awareness about which behaviors constitute VAW; policymakers should improve the accessibility of healthcare so that labeling oneself or one’s experiences in a certain way is not a prerequisite of help-seeking; and researchers should continue exploring how to measure experience- and self-labels with minimal priming of participants and greater specificity to the actual experiences with violence.
  • Labeling Victimization Experiences and Self as Predictors of Service Need Perceptions and Talking to Police

    Johnson, Ingrid; LaPlante, Janelle (Sage Journals, 2023-09)
    Theoretical frameworks suggest that how victims of violence against women (VAW) label their experiences and selves shapes their help-seeking intentions and behaviors. Quantitative studies assessing this relationship have focused on sexual assault and have neglected self-labels, thus this study adds to the research by including multiple forms of VAW and both experience-labels (e.g., “abuse”) and self-labels (e.g., “victim”). Data came from a community-based sample of 1,284 adult, female victims of physical intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking. These women participated in a state-wide phone survey in 2020 to determine victimization prevalence and were selected for the present analyses based on their victimization experiences. Bivariate analyses and multivariate logistic regression models were used to determine whether experience- and self-labels predicted the likelihood of perceiving the need for legal services, victim services, shelter or safe housing, and/or medical care, as well as talking to police. Both applying a label to one’s experiences with VAW and applying a label to oneself in relation to those experiences approximately doubled the odds of perceiving a need for formal services. The significance of self-labels seemed to be driven by the “survivor” label, as using a “victim” label was not related to need perceptions, but a “survivor” label doubled or tripled the odds of perceiving a need for formal services. Applying a label to one’s experiences with VAW almost doubled the odds of talking to the police, and, again, use of the “survivor” self-label significantly increased the odds of talking to the police. These findings confirm the importance of labeling one’s victimization experiences and self, and indicate that greater attention be paid to the labels that victims use and how the use of labels might be improved so that they are more likely to seek and attain meaningful help and services.