To determine how well intimate partner violence (IPV) survivors’ descriptions of social reactions from informal support providers align with constructs in the Social Reactions Questionnaire (SRQ), the current study examined qualitative interview data about survivors’ interactions with informal support providers obtained from a larger study with 113 female survivors of intimate partner violence.
Most intimate partner violence survivors tell at least one person about the abuse, and the reactions of these support providers can have a profound impact on survivors’ recovery. In recent years, the Social Reactions Questionnaire (SRQ) has become the predominant measure of social reactions toward intimate partner violence survivors, but the SRQ was developed based on the experiences of sexual assault survivors only. In the current study, excerpts were coded inductively, and a total of 12 types of social reactions emerged. Seven of these social reactions aligned with existing social reactions in the SRQ: (a) emotional support, (b) tangible aid, (c) blame, (d) took control, (e) treated differently, (f) egocentric reactions, and (g) distraction. An additional six reactions emerged as separate constructs, including (h) minimization, (i) told to leave, (j) advice, (k) interventions, and (l) indifference. These findings highlight the need for direct interventions with friends and family members to improve social reactions toward IPV survivors. (publisher abstract modified)