Doctor of Philosophy
Library & Information Science
Ajiferuke, Isola S. Y.
This study aimed to determine the information needs of the intimate partner violence (IPV) survivors, as well as the awareness, visibility, information quality, perceived usefulness, and frequency of use of the IPV websites in Canada. The data in this study were collected in four stages. Firstly, a group of 139 Canadian IPV websites were identified and categorized into 36 groups. Secondly, the visibility of the websites was measured based on the average value of three factors: (1) the inlink counts; (2) the search engine rankings; and (3) the number of social media mentions of the websites. Thirdly, the quality of the websites was evaluated based on the average value of five quality indicators: (1) Accessibility; (2) Relevance ; (3) Readability; (4) Interactivity; and (5) Privacy and Data Protection. Fourthly, a group of 20 IPV websites was selected from the 139 websites for survey purpose. A total of 87 IPV survivors were recruited to provide insights into their information needs, website awareness, perceived usefulness and frequency of use of the 20 IPV websites through an online survey. This study found that the higher the visibility or quality, the higher the usage. Both perceived usefulness and frequency of use of the known websites were statistically significantly higher than those of the unknown websites. Furthermore, the findings of this study revealed evidence of minimal use of the IPV websites, which may be explained by the low awareness and low perceived usefulness of the IPV websites. Based on the findings, this study recommended that online social media marketing campaigns and outreach activities should be carried out by website owners to promote website awareness. Various strategies should also be employed to improve the visibility and quality of the websites. Given that the most desired type of information was legal resources, libraries should dedicate resources to satisfy the information needs of IPV survivors. The findings make academic contributions by producing an empirically supported evidence and benchmark for future studies.
Summary for Lay Audience
Intimate partner violence (IPV) survivors have a high need for information. Providing IPV survivors access to high-quality online information is essential for improving their quality of life. The purpose of this study was to investigate how awareness, visibility, and information quality associated with the perceived usefulness and frequency of use of the Canadian IPV websites. This study employed multiple data-gathering techniques to collect the data from different sources, including Web crawlers, IPV websites, search engine results, social media, and IPV survivors.
This study found that the higher the visibility or quality, the higher the usage, which indicated that if the website could be found easily by users or had high-quality information, the IPV survivors were more likely to use that website. In addition, both perceived usefulness and frequency of use of the known websites were statistically significantly higher than those of the unknown websites. In other words, if the IPV survivors knew about the website, they were more likely to believe that the website was useful, and they were more likely to use that website.
This study further revealed a low usage of the IPV websites, which may be explained by (1) most respondents were not aware of most of the websites; (2) most respondents were not able to find most of the IPV websites; and (3) most respondents believed that the IPV websites were only somewhat useful.
This study offered some practical recommendations. To enhance the usage of the IPV websites, website owners should consider launching online social media marketing campaigns to engage their target audience and to promote their website awareness. They should also invest resources in improving the visibility and quality of the websites.
Lee, Sze Hang, "The Use of Intimate Partner Violence Websites: Website Awareness, Visibility, Information Quality, Perceived Usefulness, and Frequency of Use" (2021). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 7865.