Master of Arts
Jaffe, Peter G.
Chiodo, Deborah, G.
Domestic violence (DV) or intimate partner violence (IPV) is defined as physical, emotional, psychological, or sexual harm in an intimate relationship. In extreme cases, it may culminate in domestic homicide which is defined as the killing of an intimate partner, their children or their family members. Intimate partner violence and domestic homicide is prevalent worldwide. Over ninety-nine thousand reports of DV were made to police in Canada in 2018. According to the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative for Vulnerable Populations, some victims may face greater barriers in receiving assistance on a timely basis such as immigrants and refugees, Indigenous people, children exposed to domestic violence, and those residing in rural, remote, and Northern (RRN) regions. This research seeks to understand the barriers to safety planning and best practices for supporting survivors of DV in RRN regions. This study utilized a qualitative thematic analysis of twenty interviews conducted with survivors of DV in RRN regions. Barriers to safety planning included victim-blaming and patriarchal attitudes, geographical barriers, confidentiality concerns, access to firearms and a distrust in systems. Participants made suggestions for those supporting survivors of DV in RRN regions and included meeting survivors where they are at, providing a non-judgmental space, believing, and validating survivors’ experiences, and providing appropriate resources. Implications for practice among service providers in these areas are discussed
Summary for Lay Audience
Domestic violence is defined as any physical, emotional, psychological or emotional harm between members of an intimate relationship – also referred to as intimate partner violence. Intimate partner violence represented one-third of all police-reported crimes in Canada in 2018. Domestic violence is more prevalent among marginalized communities, including women who reside in rural, remote, and Northern regions of Canada. This research aimed to understand the barriers to increasing safety among domestic violence survivors residing in rural, remote, and Northern regions of Canada, and the best practices for supporting these individuals. This research included interviews conducted with twenty survivors of domestic violence residing in rural, remote, and Northern regions. This research revealed that victim-blaming and patriarchal attitudes, geographical barriers, confidentiality concerns, access to firearms, and a distrust in systems acted as barriers to increasing safety among survivors of domestic violence. The women included in this research explained that those supporting survivors of domestic violence should meet survivors where they are at, provide a non-judgmental space, believe, and validate survivors’ experiences, as well as provide appropriate resources. These findings provide helpful insights for practitioners looking to improve their response to domestic violence in rural, remote, and Northern regions.
Kohtala, Sara, "Barriers to Safety Planning and Best Practices for Supporting Survivors of Domestic Violence in Rural, Remote, and Northern Regions" (2021). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 7711.