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    A Qualitative Study of Women’s Long-Term Experience of Trauma More Than Ten Years After Exiting Domestic Abuse

    Carr, Olive (2024) A Qualitative Study of Women’s Long-Term Experience of Trauma More Than Ten Years After Exiting Domestic Abuse. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Coercive control is a global phenomenon that has a serious impact on victims’ mental, physical, sexual, and financial wellbeing. The aim of this study was to explore qualitatively the long-term impacts on women who had left coercive control relationships more than ten years previously. It was carried out to extend the empirical understanding about the ongoing role coercive control continues to have in women’s lives years after they exited those relationships and thereby open the possibilities for policy and procedural changes to prevent long-term harm. Initially a review of the literature demonstrated that this specific area had hitherto received scant attention. Initially this entailed a review coercive control through a feminist and trauma focused lens to support the study of coercive control in both the private and the public domains and the impact of the dominant hegemonies through a feminist analysis of patriarchy. Ethical approval was acquired and a loosely-structured interview schedule was used for in-depth interviews with seven women who fitted the study criteria. This was thematically explored in three phases: the relationship; breaking free and their current lives. The key findings illustrate that the women who experienced coercive control continue to live with the trauma they experienced with the perpetrators and that it continues to significantly affect the women’s lives physically, psychologically and financially. Furthermore, it emerged that the effects of their help-seeking encounters within the public domain, especially within the judicial and financial sectors, reactivated and exacerbated the traumas they experienced within the private sphere. Moreover, they indicated that in their experience public discourse pertaining to coercive control continues to blame and shame the victim resulting in their only sharing their experiences of the abuse they experienced with a small trusted group of friends. It is evident that significant research has taken place leading to substantial policies in relation to coercive control. However, this study demonstrates that it is imperative that hegemonic patriarchal discourse that the participants encountered be addressed for victims of coercive control, and women in general, to ensure a safe egalitarian society.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Qualitative Study; Women’s Long-Term Experience; Trauma; Ten Years; Exiting; Domestic Abuse;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Applied Social Studies
    Item ID: 18637
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2024 10:12
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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