Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Women's Experiences of Partner Abuse and Sexual Assault: A Social Ecological Approach to Recovery


Psychology Department


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Violence against women is an endemic problem in our society. Indeed, national data suggests that 25% to 34% of women will be the victims of partner abuse and that 18% to 25% of women will be the victims of attempted or completed rape during their lifetime (Basile, 2002; Fisher, Cullen, & Turner, 2000; Tjaden & Thoennes, 1998). Although numerous studies have documented the deleterious psychological outcomes associated with experiences of partner abuse and sexual assault, the relational and criminal justice outcomes are understudied in comparison. This is problematic given that violence against women does not occur in a vacuum and neither do women responses to these experiences. Accordingly, there has been a growing focus on understanding women recovery using a social ecological framework, which includes individual-level, microsystem, mesosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem factors (Campbell et al., 2003). Utilizing this theoretical framework, the four papers presented as part of this symposium will address psychological, relational, and criminal justice outcomes associated with women experiences of partner violence and sexual assault and include studies that: (1) assess the impact of victim advocacy following intimate partner abuse on psychological and criminal justice outcomes among an ethnically diverse sample of women; (2) explore the interpersonal and intrapersonal correlates of low-income women leaving processes in abusive relationships; (3) investigate the psychological, relational, and social factors that influence young women readiness to leave an abusive relationship; and (4) examine the role of individual resiliency factors as well as internalized rape myths in young women recovery from sexual trauma.

Conference Name

American Psychological Association Annual Conference

Conference Location

Orlando, FL

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