Sarah Spicer Reid

Sarah is a thesis student in the Master of Counselling program. Her research interests are concentrated on the prevention and treatment of gender-based violence.


Title: Interpersonal violence survivors experience law enforcement officers’ responses

Abstract: My thesis research question is: How do interpersonal violence survivors experience law enforcement officers’ responses to an incident of abuse? Previous research has identified that law enforcement officers’ responses to incidents of domestic violence range from control actions, such as issuing verbal commands or making arrests, to supportive actions, such as offering information about relevant services or verbalizing concern for survivors (Sun, 2007). However, research on survivors’ perceptions of these interventions is strikingly scant. Given that reported dissatisfaction with police response is significantly associated with negative psychological outcomes, such as exacerbating PTSD symptom severity (Srinivas & DePrice, 2015), as well as reduced reporting of future violence (Miller & Segal, 2018), further research is merited. My poster presentation will be a literature review of the existing literature on this topic.
Beginning in Fall 2022, I will be conducting original research using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to explore in detail how participants make sense of both control and supportive actions. Inclusion criteria for participants will be survivors of domestic violence who have personally experienced a law enforcement officer responding to an incident in which they were being abused by an intimate partner. I will collect my data through in-depth semi-structured interviews. Insights are anticipated to improve knowledge of domestic violence survivors’ lived experiences and can potentially support the evolution of more informed interventions. My research will be conducted from a social justice feminist theoretical framework.

 


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