Date of Conferral





Public Health


Amany Refaat


The southwest and northwest regions of Cameroon have experienced high rates of intimate partner violence (IPV). Limited information is available about IPV victims' experiences with social support systems. This phenomenological study was aimed at investigating IPV victims' lived experiences with social support systems in Cameroon. Some of these systems are the judicial system, police officers, hospitals and clinics, and domestic violence agencies. The Health Belief Model (HBM) and the Transtheoretical Model of Change (TTM) were used to understand how 8 self-identified victims of IPV were able to discuss their lived experiences with social support systems. The research questions addressed women's experiences with social support systems as victims of intimate partner violence. The study also addressed participants' willingness to use social support systems again if the systems were made available to them. Data were gathered through face-to-face interviews using a purposeful-criterion sample that discussed the themes developed after the interview. The participants were selected with the help of 2 local domestic violence organizations based in the northwest and southwest regions of Cameroon. Study findings, which were generated via inductive analyses, indicated that victims sought the help of social support systems at least 3 times in hopes of changing their situation but were not satisfied with these systems. The study conveys social change by encouraging the need to educate social support systems in implementing and developing culturally-sensitive programs to eradicate IPV in Cameroon.