Date of Award:

5-1-2014

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Renee V. Galliher

Abstract

Domestic violence (DV) touches the lives of many individuals in close, intimate relationships. Women of all ages, ethnicities, nationalities, and from all walks of life—the poor and the wealthy—demonstrate how widespread this phenomenon is and shed light to the deleterious effects of DV to individuals and society. While current research has demonstrated that progress has been made and is moving away from blaming individuals in abusive situations, few studies have broached this topic using qualitative methodology in order to give voice to women’s stories in hopes of better understanding their lived experiences. The goal of this study was to provide a better understanding of women’s stories and of the mechanisms that assist women in leaving violent relationships by obtaining a complete picture of their relationships from beginning to end. Thus, by gaining more insight into their sources of strength, resilience, and mechanisms that

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