Fractured Identity in the Context of Intimate Partner Violence: Barriers to and Opportunities for Seeking Help in Health Settings

L.J. O'Doherty, A. Taft, R. McNair, K. Hegarty

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    14 Citations (Scopus)
    187 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Intimate partner violence has profound effects on women's identities. However, detailed examination of how abuse affects identity is lacking. We interviewed 14 diverse women (Australia), applying social identity theory to analyze their experiences of identity and help-seeking in health settings. The destabilizing effect of violence on social identities was strongly supported. Women concealed abuse to preserve a public identity. However, when the violence threatened the most integrated identities, women unveiled an abuse identity, receiving mixed responses from health providers. A healing context where a woman can display an abuse identity safely is crucial to enable her to rebuild an integrated self-concept.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)225–248
    JournalViolence Against Women
    Volume22
    Issue number2
    Early online date2 Sep 2015
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016

    Keywords

    • help-seeking
    • identity
    • intimate partner violence

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