The purpose of this study was to conduct a two-year, panel study of the role of civil legal services provided by Iowa Legal Aid (ILA), on safety (defined as revictimization), psychological well-being, and economic self-sufficiency outcomes for women who experienced IPV and resided in metro and nonmetro communities in Iowa. The goal was to understand the role of civil legal services as an intervention response to the crime of IPV and to examine the influence of the receipt of civil legal services on outcomes for battered women over time.
Participants were victims of IPV receiving assistance with a civil protective order (CPO) or a family law problem. Contract interviewers in seven locations around the state of Iowa conducted up to five in-person interviews with participants at six-month intervals (Waves 1-5). One-hundred and fifty women completed Wave 1. Of these women, 112 completed Wave 2, 85 completed Wave 3, 62 completed Wave 4, and 32 completed Wave 5. Approximately two-thirds of the 150 women received assistance from ILA for a CPO (n = 97); the rest were represented in a family law matter. Thirty-six percent of women lived in non-metro/rural areas (n = 54).
Potential participants were self-identified victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) who contacted Iowa Legal Aid (ILA) for assistance with a civil protective order (CPO) or a family law problem (divorce, child custody, child support). Women were recruited shortly after ILA decided to take their cases. ILA staff tracked client cases through an intake system and once the case was accepted, they contacted the clients to inquire if they would be willing to share their contact information with the researchers. For those 383 women who agreed, ILA staff transferred contact information for these women to the researchers. A research assistant contacted women to explain the study and ask if they were interested in participating. Those women who agreed were then assigned to an interviewer in their geographic area of the state.
Women experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV), over the age of 18, with at least one child, whose cases were accepted for services by Iowa Legal Aid.
paper and pencil interview (PAPI)
The Legal Aid Interviews include 5 SPSS files representing interviews conducted at six-month intervals. Each file contains demographic variables measuring age, highest education level, number of children, employment status, income, and financial assistance received. Variables also measure adequacy of resources such as adequate food, housing, utilities, money for bills, clothing, employment, supplies and care for children, transportation, and time for self-care. Physical violence was measured by asking whether the spouse ever physically hurt the respondent in specific ways, and emotional/verbal abuse behaviors were also recorded. Several variables also measured whether the spouse exhibited stalking behaviors in the previous 6 months. Variables also include measures of symptomatic response to traumatic stressors and symptoms of depression within the past week. Parental satisfaction and perception was measured, as well as availability of social support, women's sense of empowerment, goal-directed thinking, respondent's perception of her resilience, and respondent's assessment of the level of trust between her and her attorney, as well as confidence in her attorney's ability to assist her. Several reverse scored and summary variables were also included in the data.
- LegalAidWave1interview: This file contains 150 cases and 561 variables. Additional variables include race/ethnicity, marital status, length of the abusive relationship, and urban or rural location. Variables also include how often the abusive spouse belittled, made demands of, prevented socialization with friends, called names, hit or slapped, screamed at, disrespected, and bullied the respondent. Data was also collected on whether the abusive spouse ever made respondent feel fearful, if the spouse ever exhibited specific controlling behaviors, and measures of dominance/isolation behaviors. Perception of the role that financial factors contributed to previous IPV and current safety was also measured. Other variables include weights and product scores for the scales.
- LegalAidWave2interview: This file contains 112 cases and 385 variables. Additional variables include whether respondent has given birth, been physically harmed by spouse, or had spouse attempt to make contact negatively in the past 6 months.
- LegalAidWave3interview: This file contains 85 cases and 384 variables. Additional variables include whether respondent has given birth, been physically harmed by spouse, or had spouse attempt to make contact negatively in the past 6 months.
- LegalAidWave4interview: This file contains 62 cases and 387 variables. Additional variables include whether respondent has given birth, been physically harmed by spouse, or had spouse attempt to make contact negatively in the past 6 months. Data was also collected on whether respondent has or is seeking an order or protection, and if so what type of order or protection.
- LegalAidWave5interview: This file contains 32 cases and 368 variables. Additional variables include whether respondent has given birth, been physically harmed by spouse, or had spouse attempt to make contact negatively in the past 6 months. This data set does not include measure of respondent's assessment of the level of trust between her and her attorney and confidence in her attorney's ability to assist her.
39% of women who agreed to share their contact information were interviewed
- Index of Spouse Abuse (ISA)
- Women's Experience with Battering Scale (WEB)
- Psychological Maltreatment of Women Inventory, Short Form (PMWI-F)
- Physical Assault subscale of the Revised Conflict Tactic Scale (CTS2)
- Stalking Behavior Checklist (SBC)
- Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D)
- Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R)
- Interpersonal Support Evaluation List (ISEL)
- Connor Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC)
- State Hope Scale
- Self-Efficacy for Parenting Tasks Index (SEPTI)
- Kansas Parental Satisfaction Scale (KPSS)
- Family Resource Scale (FRS)
- Domestic Violence-Related Financial Issues Scale (DV-FI)
- Personal Progress Scale-Revised (PPS-R)
- Bond Scale of the Working Alliance Inventory (WAI-BOND)