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Why Use Agent-Based Models To Explore Social Issues? The Case Of Intimate Partner Violence and Social Support Systems

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Title: Why Use Agent-Based Models To Explore Social Issues? The Case Of Intimate Partner Violence and Social Support Systems
Author(s): Drigo, Marina V.
Advisor(s): Sweet, Elizabeth L.
Department / Program: Urban & Regional Planning
Discipline: Urban Planning
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: M.U.P.
Genre: Thesis
Subject(s): agent-based GIS modeling domestic violence
Abstract: Intimate partner violence is a major social problem, and while both men and women can be victims of abuse, the percentage of affected women, especially from low-income, immigrant and African-American communities appears to be higher due to structural inequalities. Women from various socio-cultural and economic backgrounds also differ in ways of seeking help, utilizing services and disclosing abuse to family members, friends and formal sources of help. Building on socio-cultural and economic representations of intimate partner violence, this thesis presents a spatially explicit agent-based model for simulating help-seeking behavior of battered women within informal and formal social support systems represented by friends, shelters and community service centers. Results from the model demonstrate the discrepancy between officially reported violence incidents and those experienced in reality. The results also demonstrate the difference in how successful women with different income levels and those from African American, Hispanic and White groups are in becoming economically independent and leaving violent relationship. Overall, the results demonstrate that the formal support systems need to be geared toward low-income women to ensure their independence from abusive relationships.
Issue Date: 2010-08-20
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/16780
Rights Information: Copyright 2010 Marina Drigo
Date Available in IDEALS: 2010-08-20
Date Deposited: 2010-08
 

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