An Analysis of help-seeking patterns among college student victims of sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking
Despite the negative outcomes associated with sexual assault (SA), dating violence (DV), and stalking victimization, many victims, particularly college students, do not seek help for these crimes. To date, the majority of help-seeking research has focused on one form of victimization, despite substantial evidence that many victims experience more than one form of interpersonal violence. In addition to consideration of such polyvictims, intervention efforts to increase help-seeking to improve victim outcomes may benefit from a clearer understanding of overlapping predictors of help-seeking across victimization types. Using the health belief model (HBM) as a guiding framework, the current study examined predictors of help-seeking for SA, DV, and stalking in a college student sample. Data were collected via a multiyear anonymous email survey of general health and well-being. Demographic predictors of help-seeking and severity indicators informed by the HBM were evaluated across violence types. In addition to replicating previous work, results provided support for the HBM, such that a number of severity indicators, particularly those representing overlap across victimization types, predicted help-seeking at the multivariate level. Results also provide new evidence for overlap of barriers to help-seeking across violence types, with victim’s belief that the incident was not serious enough the most commonly reported reason for not seeking help across all three types of victimization. This overlap may provide opportunities for consolidating prevention and intervention efforts across victimization types.
Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Ameral, Victoria; Palm Reed, Kathleen M.; and Hines, Denise A., "An Analysis of help-seeking patterns among college student victims of sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking" (2020). Psychology. 575.