First published in 1990, this book is basedon a field study of domestic abuse victims and their social network members. In a life history perspective, using values and network analysis, it uncovers the social context of a ‘secret’ crime against women and reveals the relationship between personal crisis and traditional attitudes toward women, marriage, the family, and violence.
This book breaks new ground by redirecting attention beyond victim-blaming and the medicalization of violence to understanding domestic abuse victims as survivors who manage multiple crises despite public inattention to their plight. From analysis of the women’s struggles with violence and its aftermath, this book proposes a new crisis paradigm, which underscores the sociocultural aspects of crisis originating from violence.
This book will be of interest to those studying social sciences, women’s studies, social work, health and mental health professions.
List of figures and tables; Preface; Part I: Battered women: private struggles against a public problem; 1. Reconciling the personal and political through collaborative research 2. Battered women: what life experience reveals 3. Women in violent relationships: why they stayed 4. From victim to survivor: how they left; Part II: Battered women and their social networks; 5. Social network members’ responses to battered women 6. The women’s interaction with formal network members 7. Social network members’ values; Part III: Social life without violence: struggles and visions; 8. The shelter experience 9. Rites of passage to a life without violence 10. After shelter: poor and homeless women and children 11. The children and work of battered women; Part IV: Conclusions, implications, follow up; 12 Summary and conclusions; Epilogue: Five years later; Appendix: Theoretical and methodological Issues; Notes; References; Name index; Subject index.