Victims' influence on intimate partner violence revictimization: an empirical test of dynamic victim-related risk factors.J Interpers Violence. 2012 Jun; 27(9):1716-42.JI
Research has reported that not only characteristics of the perpetrator but also characteristics of the victim influence risk for intimate partner violence (IPV). This would suggest that prevention of repeat abuse could benefit from a focus on both perpetrator and victim characteristics. Knowledge on factors that are within victims' sphere of influence is important because a focus on victim characteristics can help victims to take control of their situations and can thereby empower them. Dynamic victim-related factors are most relevant here as these are factors that can be changed or improved, in contrast to unchangeable static factors. Surprisingly, however, little is known about how victim-related factors affect risk for revictimization of IPV. The current study was conducted among a Dutch sample of 156 female, help-seeking IPV victims. The aim was to examine to what extent prior IPV and, in particular, dynamic victim-related factors influence risk for future IPV. In accordance with the models articulated by Foa, Cascardi, Zoellner and Feeny, we studied how the three key factors from their models-partner violence, victims' psychological difficulties, and victims' resilience-related to risk for IPV revictimization. Results provide support for several key factors (partner violence and victims' psychological difficulties) and, moreover, show which victim-related factors contribute to revictimization risk above and beyond the influence of prior violence committed by a partner against the victim (i.e., victims' prior IPV victimizations). Findings are discussed in terms of recommendations for practice and future research.