Rural and urban women's perceptions of barriers to health, mental health, and criminal justice services: Implications for victim services

T. K. Logan, Erin Stevenson, Lucy Evans, Carl Leukefeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine rural and urban women's perceptions of barriers to health and mental health services as well as barriers to criminal justice system services. Eight focus groups were conducted, two in a selected urban county (n = 30 women) and two in each of three selected rural counties (n = 98 women). Results were classified into a barrier framework developed in the health service utilization literature which suggests there are four main dimensions of barriers: affordability, availability, accessibility, and acceptability. Results indicate that: (1) women face many barriers to service use including affordability, availability, accessibility, and acceptability barriers; (2) it takes an inordinate level of effort to obtain all kinds of services; however, women with victimization histories may face additional barriers over and above women without victimization histories; (3) barriers to health and mental health service utilization overlap with barriers to utilizing the criminal justice system; and (4) there are many similarities in barriers to service use among rural and urban women; however, there are some important differences suggesting barriers are contextual. Future research is needed to further clarify barriers to service use for women with victimization histories in general, and specifically for rural and urban women. In addition, future research is needed to better understand how women cope with victimization in the context of the specific barriers they face in their communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-62
Number of pages26
JournalViolence and Victims
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Health(social science)
  • Law

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