Date of Conferral







Georita Frierson


Many victims of domestic violence who seek help are never able to break the cycle of abuse. Many studies address the stages and types of domestic violence, but few focus on successful recovery from abuse. The purpose of this study was to fill the gap in the literature concerning battered women's help-seeking processes in rural southwestern United States. The specific focus was on how victims and survivors of intimate partner violence seek help for domestic violence issues and whether their help-seeking processes determine successful recovery from domestic violence situations. This study was a qualitative case study based on symbolic interactionism and incorporating a trauma-informed approach to explore how help-seeking affects the recovery process of 12 survivors of intimate partner violence. Hand coding was used to organize data from semi structured interviews and develop categories that were the basis for common themes. Five themes emerged from the data analysis: (a) economic abuse, (b) low self-esteem, (c) unawareness of services, (d) self-worth, and (e) remorse. Results of this study may inform domestic violence providers and mental health care workers that those who endure intimate partner abuse can successfully recover from the violence. Moreover, the lived experiences provided by this study's participants can provide direction for additional research to improve the experiences of victims and survivors of domestic violence.