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  Informed Consent 

Welcome! You are being asked to participate in a survey for a research study conducted by Jillian Scheer, M.A., and Dr. V. Paul Poteat at Boston College. We hope that the results of this study will help us understand more about the experiences of sexual and gender minorities (e.g., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning or queer individuals). You are invited to participate in this project if you: 1) identify as LGBTQ; 2) are at least 18 years of age; 3) have ever experienced some form of intimate partner abuse; and, 4) sought services related to intimate partner abuse and its aftermath within the past year. In order to qualify for this study, you must satisfy all four criteria. Please read this page before agreeing to be in the study. There will be 750 anticipated participants for this current study.

 

The purpose of this study is to better understand the experiences and health of LGBTQ individuals as well as the quality of services received by the LGBTQ community. If you agree to participate, you will be asked to complete the following online survey containing demographic questions, questions about a range of hurtful behaviors that you may have experienced in romantic/intimate relationships, attitudes toward services you may have received, and your mental health and physical health.

 

This study will be conducted through this online survey. The survey should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete. To express our gratitude for your participation, we will offer you the opportunity to enter a raffle to win one of fifteen $10.00, ten $20.00, or 3 $50.00 online gift cards. Please enter your email address at the end of the survey if you wish to be entered into the raffle. There are no other direct benefits to you or compensation, but you may feel gratified in knowing that you have helped to further the scholarly work in this research area and contributed to the health and wellbeing of the LGBTQ community.

 

You are helping to make a difference by adding to our understanding of the quality of services received by the LGBTQ community. Such information will help to make programs designed to support LGBTQ people the best they can be. You may also find that the survey will help you think about your experiences in new ways. Some of what you answer in this survey may bring up painful feelings, memories, or health symptoms. Questions may be specific and graphic and if you find them to be upsetting, you can withdraw from this study at any time. Because of this, after the survey there will be a list of resources including a number of hotlines for LGBTQ-identified people. This study may include other risks that are unknown at this time. You will not receive any kind of treatment for intimate partner abuse as a participant in this study. There is no cost to you to participate in this research study.

 

The Principal Investigator will exert all reasonable efforts to keep your responses and your identity confidential. The records of this study will be kept private in a locked file. In any sort of report we may publish, we will not include any information that will make it possible to identify a participant. All electronic information will be coded and secured using a password-protected file. Identifying information will be stored in a separate password-protected file different from your responses to the survey, and in a different locked location. Access to the records will be limited to the researchers; however, please note that the Institutional Review Board and internal Boston College auditors may review research records.

 

Participating in this study is completely voluntary. If you choose to participate in the research, you may withdraw from participation at any time. Also, you do not have to answer any question that you do not want to answer. There are no penalties for withdrawing or skipping questions. If you choose to withdraw early from the study, you will still be eligible to enter the raffle. If you choose to not participate or to leave the study early, it will not affect your relationship with Boston College.

 

If you have questions or concerns about this research you may contact the Principal Investigator, Jillian Scheer, at scheerj@bc.edu. She is being supervised by Dr. V. Paul Poteat in the Department of Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. He may be reached at poteatp@bc.edu or 617-552-4234. If you have any questions about your rights as a research participant, you may contact the Office for Research Protections, Boston College, at 617-552-4778 or irb@bc.edu. If you would like, please print a copy of this consent form for your own records.

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