Publication Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Counselor Education


The estimated number of women in abusive relationships in the United States is almost 2 million (Pyles & Postmus, 2004; Tjaden & Thoennes, 1998; Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000). Each year 1,500 of these women are murdered by their partners (Shostack, 2001). Yet there are 3 times as many shelters for abused animals then shelters for abused women and children (NiCarthy, 2004) this is at odds with the number of victims in need of services. This study explored a variety of methods to reach victims of domestic violence. To provide a basic understanding of domestic violence in the United States is presented, various definitions of domestic violence are discussed and the history of domestic violence in the United States is explored. The study attempted to understand ways women who utilized their services learned about what was available, the services they utilized and suggestions they had for improving outreach. The findings indicated women often learned about the services from friends and medical professionals who suggested they seek help. The study also revealed that only after leaving the abuser did the women feel safe enough to see help.