This is a community-based study that results from community engagement by the investigators over many years of partnership. SafeHouse Center’s (SHC) Executive Director, Barbara Neiss-May contacted the investigators requesting that we undertake a research project focused on prioritizing survivor safety, by exploring survivor perspectives regarding their abusive partners’ BIP contact. SHC provides safety, support, advocacy, and resources to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence in Washtenaw County, Michigan. Recruitment will be initiated through SHC staff outreach. Over six months SHC legal advocates, shelter staff, as well as sexual assault and domestic violence support group counselors will inform survivors about the project. In addition, SHC staff will introduce the project and the investigators to Washtenaw County district court probation officers who will be asked to inform partners of the men whom they supervise on their probation caseloads about the project. Whether survivors learn about the project from SHC staff or probation officers, those who express interest will be provided with the co-investigator’s contact information. Women who contact the co-investigator
and agree to participate, will consent to an in-depth interview that lasts no more than 2 hours and will receive a $50 Visa Gift Card to reimburse them for their time and stories. Regardless of their referral source, women’s identities will be kept confidential. Their interviews will take place over Zoom in compliance with social distancing measures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. All interview data will be audio-recorded and transcribed. The transcribed interviews will then be analyzed utilizing Dedoose qualitative analysis software.
Because the prevalence of domestic violence across the lifespan is highest for women of color (Black: 44%; multiracial: 54%; American Indian/Alaskan Native: 46%) compared to white women (Black et al., 2011), particular attention will be paid to recruiting and interviewing Black women, Indigenous women, and women of color. Furthermore, the intersectional identities of recruited women’s abusive partners’ and the nature of their BIP contact will also be critical data points. Thus, understanding diverse women’s perspectives will be informed by their partners’ identities.