Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Stephanie A. Bohon

Committee Members

Michelle Brown, Harry F. Dahms, John Orme


Intimate partner violence (IPV) against women is a social and public health problem worldwide, particularly in developing countries. However, help-seeking for IPV among women is quite low in Sub-Saharan African countries. The present dissertation examines help-seeking behavior reported by women in five Sub-Saharan African countries: Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, to explore factors associated with the issue. Based on Resources (economic dependence), gender/feminist, and survivor perspectives several hypotheses were developed and tested. Findings from analysis indicate that from resource factors household wealth and educational level were negatively, employment status was partially associated with women’s help-seeking behavior. Justification of wife-beating was negatively linked with help-seeking while husband’s controlling behaviors increased help-seeking from both formal and informal sources. The accumulation of physical violence was a robust factor that increased women’s help-seeking behavior from formal and informal sources. Women who experienced emotional violence had higher while women who were victims of sexual violence had lower odds of help-seeking. Women experienced to intimate partner violence attempt utilize both informal and formal help-seeking. However, among Sub- Saharan African women informal help is more common than formal help. As a result, this dissertation makes several contributions for future studies.

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Criminology Commons