To better illuminate the elements of an effective community response to domestic violence, this study examined how survivors prioritized their help-seeking activities and what their priorities revealed about their patterns of need. This study expanded on Sullivan and Bybee’s findings regarding the utility of community-based advocacy by examining whether the extent to which such advocacy was effective was dependent on the types of needs that survivors presented. Cluster analysis revealed five distinct subgroups of survivors: one focused primarily on activities to acquire housing, a second worked more on education and employment, a third focused heavily on legal issues, and two groups were characterized by survivors’ level of activity across a variety of needs (high and low). Despite the varied constellations of needs survivors presented, broad-based advocacy enhanced survivors’ effectiveness in mobilizing needed community resources.

These findings suggest that comprehensive and individualized approaches to advocacy for battered women are essential.

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