Healing After Gender-Based Violence Scale (GBV-Heal)

The Healing After Gender-Based Violence (GVB-Heal) Scale is an 18-item measure with four subscales, including "Relating to others", "Regaining hope and power", "Self-connection", "Trauma processing and self-advocacy". The response options for this measure explore participants' feelings regarding healing from GBV at different time points after the experience.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female

Age Range: Adults


Gender-based violence (GBV) can encompass such acts as intimate partner violence, sexual violence, child abuse, forced prostitution, genital cutting, and stalking. GBV can have great impacts on our physical, social, mental, and emotional health. Below are statements that depict experiences and feelings people have. Please indicate for each statement below the degree to which this characterizes how you felt at your lowest point after your GBV experience as well as what best describes your current feelings now

1. I feel like I know who I am and what makes me, me
2. I feel able to accept the parts of myself that I do not like
3. I feel able to acknowledge the parts of myself that I do like
4. I feel that I have inner strength

Relating to others:
5. I feel that others acknowledge my worth and treat me the way I should be treated
6. I trust those close to me to act in my best interest
7. I feel capable of being in an intimate relationship should I so choose
8. I feel heard and understood by trusted others in my life
9. I feel able to connect with trusted others on an authentic level

Regaining hope and power:
10. I feel hope that healing is possible in time
11. I feel able to recognize the good in the world
12. I can see new possibilities for my future
13. I am able to feel peaceful when I am alone
14. I am able to be kind to myself
15. I feel able to contribute to society

Trauma processing and self-advocacy:
16. I am able to communicate my needs to others
17. I am able to forgive myself for past behaviors that bring me guilt and shame
18. I feel as though I am not to blame for my experiences

Response Options:
At my lowest point
Not at all - 0
A little bit - 1
Somewhat - 2
To a considerable degree - 3
To a great extent - 4
My current feelings
Not at all - 0
A little bit - 1
Somewhat - 2
To a considerable degree - 3
To a great extent - 4

Scoring Procedures

Respondents are asked to evaluate each statement twice: their perceptions of how they felt at their lowest point after GBV and another referencing their current feelings. The difference of these scores is calculated and added to get a total sum recovery score.

Original Citation

Sinko, L., Ozaslan, Z. Z., Schaitkin, C., & Arnault, D. S. (2021). Psychometric evaluation of the Healing After Gender-Based Violence Scale: An instrument for cross-sectional and longitudinal assessment of recovery progress for women-identifying survivors. Journal of Family Violence, 1-19.

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Field Expert Input

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