The purpose of this study was to determine if there are characteristics of abused women that are associated with the women's use of the services of counseling to help end the abuse. The research design was a prospective, descriptive analysis of 216 abused pregnant Hispanic women receiving prenatal care in urban public health clinics. Women who we're abused by their intimate male partner were offered unlimited access to the services of a bilingual English/Spanish-speaking counselor experienced in abuse whose office was located in the public health clinic. Baseline demographic characteristics, severity of abuse experienced by the women, and the women s previous use of community resources were assessed. Analyses were conducted to examine associations between baseline characteristics and the number of visits the abused women made to the counselor. The results of the study show that when an abused pregnant Hispanic woman had an average of two or more children, she was more likely to use the services of an abuse prevention counselor. The study also showed that the women who had used the police most during the previous 12 months made the fewest number of visits to the counselor. Prenatal care may provide a convenient and safe setting for low-income, ethnic minority women with numerous children to conveniently and safely access abuse prevention services. Research is needed on the effectiveness of incorporating abuse intervention services into nontraditional settings, such as neighborhood clinics.
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