Authors: Thomas Nally, Jane L. Ireland, School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK and Ashworth Research Centre, Mersey Care NHS Trust, Liverpool, UK. and Philip Birch, Centre for Law & Justice, Charles Sturt University, Australia.



This systematic review analysed 61 papers, from an initial search result of 3,540 papers, to explore how victims of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and interpersonal violence manage their victimisation.  The review yielded five themes, centred on evidence for safety strategies adopted by those affected by IPV or interpersonal violence. These comprised; Victims seek help following interpersonal violence; Victims of interpersonal violence experience barriers to seeking help; Victims use multiple strategies to manage experiences of abuse; Victims of interpersonal violence cope in multiple ways; The help-seeking behaviours of victims are contextual. The findings indicated that victims of IPV and interpersonal violence utilise a range of strategies, including help-seeking, safety enhancing strategies and coping strategies, in response to their victimisation. It also indicated that there are significant barriers preventing help-seeking and victimisation reporting. The findings are discussed in relation to the help seeking behaviour of victims and how this may be impacted by barriers at different stages of the help-seeking process.

Keywords: Interpersonal Violence; Intimate Partner Violence; Domestic Abuse; Help Seeking; Safety Behaviour; Victimisation.

Vol 2, Issue 2, October 2021