Date of Award

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Communication, Technology, and Society

Advisor

Dr. Melinda R. Weathers

Committee Member

Dr. Karyn Jones

Committee Member

Dr. Erin Ash

Abstract

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2003), an estimated 5.3 million incidents of intimate partner violence (IPV) occur each year in the United States, resulting in nearly 2 million injuries, and approximately 1,300 deaths. Additionally, The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (2011) found that 1 in 3 women (35.6%) have experienced sexual and/or physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner. More attention has been paid to IPV in the past two decades, resulting in an increase in the number of prevention and intervention mass media campaigns; however, very few campaigns report consulting survivors of IPV (Keller & Otjen, 2007). Given the prevalence of IPV in the U.S., and the increased efforts to reach victims through mass media campaigns, the present study will focus on the lived experiences of survivors of IPV and how they react to current campaign ads in a focus group setting. Using the Health Belief Model (HBM) as a theoretical framework, this study seeks to better understand the experiences of survivors, and how those experiences shape the way they view prevention and intervention ads. These interviews provide insight into the diverse lived experiences of survivors of IPV, and have implications for women, social science research, educators, advocates, and the general public.

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