Assessing the Experiences of Women who have Suffered Intimate Partner Violence Living in Shelters
Imported from ProQuest Hammond_ilstu_0092N_11265.pdf
According to the Centers for Disease Control on National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence in 2010, more than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Throughout history, someone they knew has most often victimized women. Over the past thirty years, feminist organizers of the domestic violence (DV) movement powered public awareness regarding the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) dominantly. This led to the development of a network of shelters and other support services for victims, and altered the criminal justice system’s response to survivors (Goodman & Epstein, 2008).
Homelessness in the lives of intimate partner victims cannot be underestimated as violence in the homes of women is one of the factors leading to their homelessness (Bassuk, Buckner, Weinreb, Browne, Bassuk, Dawson & Perlojf, 1997). This study presents a qualitative study of the subjective experiences of women who have survived intimate partner violence and are staying at shelters. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with four survivors. The interviews highlighted the forms of support the women received as shelter residents, and their perceptions on improvement strategies to make their stay in shelters more successful. Findings portrayed that women appreciated the assistance they received to meet their physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological needs. However, residents emphasized emotional and physical needs as paramount in the forms of support they received. Suggestions to make shelter stay of residents more successful included encouraging support groups for survivors and children, as well as a reduction in restrictions that governed shared spaces of shelter residents.
KEYWORDS: Intimate partner violence, women, survivors, shelters, subjective experiences