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Domestic violence:
Moving On

A Qualitative Investigation Exploring How women
Move On
From
Violent Relationships

Researcher: Carole Le Darcy
Supervisor: Dr Sue Becker

Acknowledgements
I would like to express my sincerest thanks and gratitude to all of the exceptionally strong women that participated in this research that have freely given not only some of their precious and valuable time but have also revealed that which is sadly all too often concealed; the remarkable, courageous and often very moving accounts of their experiences, journey and exit from abusive and violent relationships. Thanks also to

Pat Craven
for providing me with inspiration and granting permission to evaluate the Freedom Programme. I am greatful also to the team at Stockton Doves;
Mal Watson-Dotchin
Carol Larkman
Suzi Debrah
Trish Bridgewater
for trusting me to carry out this research, for their enormous support, for providing me with the benefit of their vast experience and knowledge and for the fond memories of my time at Stockton Doves that I shall always value. And a big thank you to

Dr Sue Becker
for her inspiration, support, motivation and faith in me to carry out this research. And finally, thank you to my wonderful children:
Esther
Sarah
Joshua
Rosie
for their continued toleration of my shared interest and attention whilst completing this research Contents
Abstractpage: 4
Introductionpage: 5-9
Methodologypage: 10-12
Settingpage: 13
Accesspage: 14
Procedurepage: 15
Interviewspage: 16
Ethicspage: 17-18
Analysispage: 19
Resultspage: 20-33
Discussionpage: 34-37
Referencespage: 38-41

Appendices
Appendix 1: The Freedom Programmepage: 42
Appendix 2: Stockton Dovespage: 43
Appendix 3: Example Questionspage: 44
Appendix 4: Information Sheetpage: 45
Appendix 5: Consent Form: Study 1page: 46
Appendix 6: Consent Form: Study 2page: 47
Appendix 7: Example of transcribed Interviewpage: 48-55

Abstract

Domestic violence is defined in many ways and is subject to many stereotypical and false presumptions that contribute to the stigmatisation of its victims. Paradoxically, there is an abundance of statistics that outline the prevalence of domestic violence in society and the far-reaching effects upon women. Research reveals that women in violent relationships suffer physically, emotionally and psychologically. It has also been established that there are serious consequential effects that can continue long after the abuse has ended. Focusing specifically on the under-researched area of the woman’s exit, this paper aims to discover the processes involved in moving on from a violent relationship and how women’s lives and sense of selves are rebuilt. A qualitative method was employed and data generated from interviews with ten female victims of domestic violence was thematically analysed. Results of the research indicate that one of the biggest barriers to recovery is the stigma associated with domestic violence and the judgements that society imposes upon victims. This research also provides an evaluation of one of the existing support services designed to educate women about the reality of domestic violence and abuse and outlines the impact and effects of that which is taught upon the lives of those taking part.

Introduction
There are certain differences in the terminology and language used to explain and define domestic violence. This is often attributable to the way in which a particular society deals with and politicises the issue. American research may use the term ‘spousal abuse ‘or ‘battering’ whilst in the UK, ‘domestic violence’ or ‘domestic abuse’ is more commonplace. There are also major differences in the way in which this type of abuse is explained, accounted for and dealt with. However for the purposes of this...
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