Researching South Asian women who have departed social norms and married outside the social conventions of their culture widens our understanding and knowledge on the topic of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). This paper will investigate how the women participating in the research navigated the socialisation of arranged marriage and expectations on them as women, and how this influenced their decisions to remain in violent and abusive relationships. Often without family support or the “safety net” of an arranged marriage, the women stayed in abusive relationships longer than they would have done if the marriage had been arranged. The findings show that the women’s experiences of leaving the relationship are mediated by the context of forming an intimate relationship. A qualitative research approach using Black Feminist Standpoint Epistemology employed thematic analysis to give voice to South Asian women’s experiences and insights into their experiences of, and responses to, leaving abusive relationships. The analysis shows that women’s agentic act of choosing a partner became the very barrier to leaving the relationship if it turned violent and abusive.
Bibliographical note© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
- women of South Asian heritage
- intimate partner violence (IPV)
- choosing own partner
- leaving an intimate relationship
Sandhu, K., & Barrett, H. (2020). "Should I stay, or should I go?": The experiences of, and choices available to women of South Asian heritage living in the UK when leaving a relationship of choice following intimate partner violence (IPV). Social Sciences, 9, . https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9090151