Deakin University

File(s) under permanent embargo

"Sometimes cathartic. Sometimes quite raw": Benefit and harm in an intimate partner violence trial

journal contribution
posted on 2014-11-01, 00:00 authored by Jodie Valpied, Abigail Cini, Lorna O'Doherty, Ann TaketAnn Taket, Kelsey Hegarty
Research on intimate partner violence (IPV) has increased over the past two decades, however empirical research on potential harm to participants is limited. The aim of this study was to assess whether 272 women involved in a general practice based IPV intervention trial (weave) reported more benefit or harm, whether this differed by intervention or comparison group, and what types of benefit and harm were reported. Feedback was obtained via adapted Consequences of Screening Tool, visual analogue scale and open-ended question in baseline, 6-month, 12-month and 24-month surveys (all participants), and semi-structured interviews (subset of 28 participants). Participants in both the intervention and comparison groups tended to respond positively on all quantitative items, although on a number of items, the intervention group responded even more positively. At 6 and 12 months, 51.1% and 54.7% of all participants, respectively, reported their quality of life as becoming better and over 40% of women at each time-point, indicated they felt more positive about themselves as a result of some aspect of their involvement in weave. 42% of all participants reported their home lives becoming less difficult. In qualitative analyses, positive themes identified were altruism, value, evaluation of relationship, validation, self-awareness, empowerment, positive reinforcement, catharsis, motivation to seek help, and response to the research process. Negative themes identified were short-term emotional reactions, long-term emotional reactions, recall, retraumatization and minimization. Many participants indicated short-term negative emotions had been balanced by longer-term positive benefits. Further research is needed regarding characteristics and experiences of the small minority of participants who did not report positive benefit. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



Aggression and violent behavior






673 - 685


Elsevier Science


Oxford, England





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2014, Elsevier