Women's perceptions of their children's experiences in domestic violence Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/tb09j899t

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  • Ten female survivors of physically assaultive domestic violence were interviewed three times each in a feminist, qualitative study designed to access their perceptions about their children's experiences in domestic violence. All participants had children living with them at the time of the abuse and were one to five years out of the abuse. All women stated their children had been exposed to domestic violence. Women described their children's involvement in the following areas: legal (visitation, custody, child support); indirect involvement (witnessing effects of abuse) and direct involvement (feeling responsible, protecting parents); and direct child maltreatment. Child maltreatment rates measured by homes were: physical (50%); sexual (20%); emotional (90%); and neglect (70%). No patterns were present regarding child involvement. That is, children's involvement did not progress in a clear pattern from indirect to direct. While all women protected their children in the relationship, four turning points were identified in a continuum of women's protective actions: child witnessed abuse to mom; mom saw signs in child; emotional abuse to the child; and physical or sexual abuse to the child. Turning points were the points at which the women recognized they could no longer protect their children within the context of the violent relationship. Unmarried women reached their turning point earlier while women whose church involvement dictated strict obedience to spouse and those who experienced the most severe physical abuse reached their turning points later. Turning points often corresponded with leaving the relationship and were related to both social context and individual variables. Perceptions of motherhood in domestic violence were also studied. Women cited their children as important influences in staying with, returning to, and leaving abusive partners. Women stayed in relationships because of socially conditioned beliefs about children needing fathers, beliefs about marriage and family, and perceptions of children's bonds with their fathers. Finally, women's perceptions of motherhood fell into four categories: protection of their children; conflict between roles as wife and mother; concern about meeting their children's needs; and guilt about mothering. The two women who prioritized the needs of their children over their abusive partners were spared some guilt.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-09-10T16:12:03Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 WoodBarbaraL1999.pdf: 10079831 bytes, checksum: a48bf3246fe4246ebf1b6ce3dd8bdf48 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-09-10T16:08:38Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 WoodBarbaraL1999.pdf: 10079831 bytes, checksum: a48bf3246fe4246ebf1b6ce3dd8bdf48 (MD5)
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