Women’s Understanding of the Effects of Domestic Abuse: The Impact on Their Identity, Sense of Self and Resilience. A Grounded Theory Approach

Emma Crawford, Helen Liebling-Kalifani, Vicki Hill

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Research on women who have experienced domestic abuse indicates that they feel marginalized; stigma, shame and fear about the response of services stop women from seeking the support they need. The current study aimed to explore the unique perspectives of women who have experienced domestic abuse in order to gain an understanding of their experiences, their perceived identity, sense of self and resilience. Interviews were conducted with eight women who had experienced domestic abuse and transcripts were analysed using grounded theory methodology. Findings indicated that domestic abuse had a significant impact on the women interviewed. In particular, the ongoing relationship the women had with their abusive partner, due to contact with the children, served to perpetuate their identity as an abused woman. The study also found, however, that the women were able to utilise resources that increased their resilience. They were striving for a normal life, prioritising their role as a mother and attempting to reconstruct their own identity through the assumption of new roles.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)63-82
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of International Women's Studies
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009



    • Domestic abuse
    • Grounded theory
    • Identity
    • Resilience
    • Women

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Gender Studies

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