A Theoretical Framework for Family and Friends Who Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline: A Summary Brief for Practitioners

Publication Date: October 8, 2021
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  • Pages: 12
  • Published: 2021

Introduction

Research Questions

  1. How well do existing behavior change theories apply to family/friends who contact The Hotline and love is respect?
  2. What is an appropriate theoretical framework that describes the role of family/friends, assesses their needs, and gives them relevant information?
  3. What are the key components of an effective intervention for supporting the family/friends of someone affected by relationship abuse?

The brief describes a theoretical framework for services provided to family and friends of victims/survivors contacting the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline). It explains the process for developing a theoretical framework and presents the final framework. This work builds upon earlier work to develop a theoretical framework for services provided to victims/survivors contacting The Hotline.

Purpose

The purpose of this brief is to describe and illustrate a theoretical framework for family/friends of those affected by relationship abuse and to help domestic violence practitioners understand the process of developing the theoretical framework.

Key Findings and Highlights

Key findings and highlights from the third phase of the SAF-T project include:

  • A literature review of family/friends yielded three main themes: helpful involvement, unhelpful involvement, and consequences of involvement.
  • Analyses of 528 de-identified online chats and 9 interviews indicated that family/friends contact The Hotline for a variety of reasons including to learn more about abuse and to identify resources and ways to help their loved ones.
  • A theoretical framework depicts how The Hotline can support family/friends of those affected by relationship abuse. Providing culturally appropriate support in an accessible and safe environment is a key overarching theme in the framework.

Methods

We reviewed published literature and analyzed transcripts from 528 de-identified online chats and 9 interviews. We incorporated findings from these activities into a four-step group concept mapping process (brainstorming, sorting, rating, and interpretation) to develop a theoretical framework for family/friends who contact The Hotline.

Citation

Carol A. Hagen, Angela D. Greene, Lacey A. Hartigan, Carrie J. Petrucci, Beth A. Rabinovich, and Joselin N. Bravo Bueno (2021). A theoretical framework for family and friends who contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline: A Summary brief for practitioners, OPRE Report # 2021-180, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Glossary

Advocates:
Job title for The Hotline staff who provide crisis intervention and other services to individuals who contact The Hotline via phone, online chat, or text.
Contactors:
Individuals who contact The Hotline via phone, online chat, or text.
Domestic Violence Practitioner:
Includes staff of shelters, local or state hotlines, victim services, individual therapy/family counseling services, Family Justice Centers, or domestic violence service organizations providing direct services to victims/survivors and family/friends of victims/survivors.
Relationship Abuse:
Coercive behaviors used by one partner to maintain power over another partner in an intimate relationship (e.g., physical harm, attempt to control, physical or sexual violence, threats, intimidation, tactics to instill fear, emotional abuse, economic abuse). This term is often used interchangeably with intimate partner violence.