Safety Planning With Marginalized Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence: Challenges of Conducting Safety Planning Intervention Research With Marginalized Women

Bushra Sabri, Saraniya Tharmarajah, Veronica P.S. Njie-Carr, Jill T. Messing, Em Loerzel, Joyell Arscott, Jacquelyn C. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Intimate partner violence (IPV) disproportionately affects marginalized women in the United States. This calls for effective safety planning strategies to reduce the risk for future revictimization and address safety needs of survivors from marginalized groups. This review identified types of interventions that incorporated safety planning and were successful in reducing the risk for future revictimization among IPV survivors from diverse groups, examined elements of safety planning in effective interventions, and described challenges or limitations in safety planning intervention research with marginalized women. A systematic search of five databases was performed. The search resulted in inclusion of 17 studies for synthesis. The included studies were quantitative, U.S.-based, evaluated interventions with a safety planning component, and had an outcome of change in IPV. Effective interventions that incorporated safety planning were empowerment and advocacy focused. Elements included were comprehensive assessments of survivors’ unique needs and situations, educating them about IPV, helping them identify threats to safety, developing a concrete safety plan, facilitating linkage with resources, providing advocacy services as needed, and conducting periodic safety check-ins. For survivors with mental and behavioral health issues, effective interventions included psychotherapeutic approaches along with safety planning to address survivors’ co-occurring health care needs. Although most studies reported positive findings, there were limitations related to designs, methods, adequate inclusion, and representation of marginalized women and cultural considerations. This calls for additional research using rigorous and culturally informed approaches to establish an evidence base for effective interventions that specifically address the safety planning needs of marginalized survivors of IPV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTrauma, Violence, and Abuse
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • intimate partner violence
  • marginalized women
  • safety planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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