The study examined patterns of utilization of various services among female victims of domestic violence in Israel. The study looked at how cultural background, characteristics of violence, attempts at separation from partner, and women’s emotional distress contributed to patterns of service utilization. The sample of participants included 499 women who arrived at 12 shelters in Israel. Of those participants, 142 were Jewish, 156 were Arab, 125 had been born in the former Soviet Union (FSU), and 76 had been born in Ethiopia. Latent class analysis procedure was applied to identified patterns of service utilization. The procedure identified three patterns of service utilization: substantial use, frequent use of welfare and criminal justice services, and minimal use. Among Arab women, the likelihood of making substantial use of services was greater than the likelihood of making minimal use. Moreover, among the entire sample, the higher the levels of sexual abuse, violence, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the greater the likelihood of substantial versus minimal use of services. In addition, being employed, enduring higher levels of violence, and making attempts to separate increased the likelihood of utilization of welfare and criminal justice services versus minimal use. The study highlights the factors that motivate women to make use of services and the distinct strategies they use in the help-seeking process. At the practice level, the study emphasizes the need to take into account both the woman’s cultural context and the stage of help seeking she is at. In this way, professionals can provide differential treatment accordingly.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The research was supported by the the ministry of social affairs and social services, and the ministry of immigrant absorption, Israel.
© The Author(s) 2017.
- domestic violence
- latent class analysis
- service utilization