Intimate Partner Violence Stories of Appalachian Women Residing in Rural and Non-Urbanized Areas
AuthorRiffe-Snyder, Kellie Ann
AdvisorReel, Sally J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this qualitative study was to explore past intimate partner violence as it occurs in Appalachian women residing in rural and non-urbanized areas. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a social problem occurring within the context of an intimate relationship. It is estimated that 3.5 to 5 million American women experience some form of IPV each year (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000). Abuse types include physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, economic, and stalking, and can involve individuals of any age, race, socioeconomic status, geographic region, or cultural heritage. In this study, participants lived in areas of Appalachia with less than 50,000 residents. Appalachia is a geographic region which spans 13 states, including West Virginia where all participants lived. Twelve past IPV victims shared their stories through the sociocultural tradition of story-telling. Data which emerged through analysis of interview transcripts revealed a meta-theme of Turning Points, which is reflective of the perceived non-linearity of IPV. Themes were: (1) When Hope Turns to Fear; (2) Escalation of Abuse; (3) Continuation of Abuse; (4) That’s When I Knew it had to Stop; (5) Leaving as a Non-Linear Process; (6) Learn from my Story. Don’t Let it be Your Story; and (7) Does Where I Live Make a Difference? Participants experienced multiple types of abuse, and there was always a co-occurrence of abuses. When the severity and frequency of abuse escalated, perpetrators used multiple strategies to hide the abuse, such as isolating the victim from family and friends, and limiting access to transportation and phones. Eventually, each participant recognized they had to leave or their injuries might prove fatal. Leaving was a non-linear process, but each survivor was able to end her abusive relationship. One way they sought to make meaning from their IPV experience was educating others in abuse recognition; disseminating information about abuse both pro-actively and re-actively; and offering emotional, psychological, and perhaps even physical support to past or present IPV victims. One or more facets of the IPV experience was addressed in relation to the sociocultural components of rural or non-urbanized areas of Appalachia.
Degree ProgramGraduate College