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A total of 289 abused women who sought assistance in several battered women's agencies were interviewed. Of these abused women, 70 percent reported a delay of more than a year in seeking help from the agency, even though many of them reported having experienced severe or life threatening abuse. There was no association between the severity of abuse and the time lapsed in seeking help from an agency, indicating that women exposed to severe, life-threatening physical abuse frequently delay help seeking. Increased attention to barrier to help seeking among battered women and approaches to increasing the accessibility of services for battered women seem warranted.