Thank you for your willingness to help with our research project regarding what women experience when they are coping with abuse in their relationships. The people conducting this study are a team of professionals from various Calgary agencies and from the University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work.

This survey asks about things you might do to keep yourself (and children, pets, or others you care about) safe in your relationship. By “safe”, we mean that your partner or ex-partner cannot harm you, physically or emotionally.

Examples of what women do to stay safe include:

 Knowing the danger signs that tell you that your partner might harm you. For example, he is critical of what you do, or he is controlling.
 Knowing how to keep a safe distance from your partner or ex-partner. Knowing who you can talk to for help when you feel unsafe. For example family, friends, other women who understand, counsellors, police, legal aid, religious advisors, or people at work.
 Making sure you are ready if you need to get away. For example having money, a set of car keys, someone to help you move, or a place to go (like a shelter or a friend’s place).

Beginning with #2 the questions are all answered in the same way, by checking (clicking on) the statement that most closely says how you are feeling and acting NOW. If an item doesn’t make sense to you or is for any reason hard to answer there is a "don't know" statement you can check.

Participation in this survey is completely voluntary. No one other than you yourself will know if you decide to participate or not. When results are analyzed and reported there will be no way of linking any responses to particular people.

By submitting the completed or partially-completed survey you are indicating your consent as a participant in this research study.

If you do answer the questions below, what you have to say will be highly confidential. The first question asks you which agency you have received services from, but you are not asked for information beyond that which will tell us who you are.

You can decide not to participate at any point by exiting this page without clicking the "submit" button. If you submit your response without answering all the questions, the responses you do provide will be included in our data set.

The data set will be stored (for an indefinite period) only on computers needed by the research team for the analysis. The data files will be protected by a password known only to the research team. Again, no information that identifies who did or did not answer the questions will be part of that data set.

The questions are based on what a large number of women have told us is important in their experience with abuse in their relationships. If for any reason you find answering them is upsetting enough to you that you need to discuss it, you can call this crisis line (Connect www.connectnetwork.ca):

1-403-237-5888
Toll Free (Alberta) 1-877-237-5888
Available 24 hours every day

This online survey is being administered by Surveymonkey©, an American software company. As such, your responses are subject to U.S. laws, including the USA Patriot Act. The risks associated with participation are minimal, however, and similar to those associated with many email programs, such as Hotmail© and social utilities spaces, such as Facebook© and MySpace©.

This study has been reviewed by the University of Calgary’s Office of Research Ethics. If you wish to register a comment or complaint about this research you may contact Russell Burrows, (rburrows@ucalgary.ca, 403-220-3782).

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