An Exploratory Study of Rural Domestic Violence: Victim Experiences With Domestic Violence and With the Criminal Justice System

Deborah J. Chard-Wierschem, NYS Div. of Criminal Justice Services
Donna L. Hall, NYS Div. of Criminal Justice Services

To date, research has well-documented the experiences of victims of domestic violence and the obstacles they face in trying to escape the abuse. However, there is very little research on the experiences of rural victims. What research is available indicates that rural victims face unique obstacles such as geographic and technological isolation, lack of resources and services and an anachronous socio-cultural milieu that further complicates their efforts to seek help. This study is based on interviews with 92 rural victims of violence. Victims were asked about both helps and hindrances to seeking help in their community, with special attention given to experiences with police and courts, and to issues addressing victim safety and offender accountability. Both qualitative and quantitative analyses were completed.

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Updated 05/20/2006