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Battered Women: Victims Or Survivors?

Anca Bejenaru
Published 2011 · Sociology

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Abstract From 1970, research into women’s responses to marital violence became much more intense than ever before. Academic literature emphasizes two explanatory perspectives: of the woman as passive victim and of the woman who uses strategies to protect herself. The main goals of this study were to explore the effectiveness of personal strategies that women use to survive violence, the factors that influence the recurrence of violence, and the demand for shelter and the role of shelters in the process of recovery and healing. We interviewed eight battered women, from rural areas, all of whom had taken refuge in shelters, some of them several time. We identified a number of psychopathological consequences of domestic violence against women. Regardless of the severity of the attacks, the assumption that women are passive in face of violence doesn’t hold water. Women’s effort to survive violence is often hampered by inefficient response of rural police and the apathy of the community at large. The study concludes with suggestions for practice.
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