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Title: Women's experiences of engaging in intimate partner violence in heterosexual relationships : an interpretative phenomenological analysis
Author: Hammon, Amy Marilyn
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 0016
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2016
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Historically, intimate partner violence (IPV) has been conceptualised as a gendered problem of men’s violence towards women, based on a model of male patriarchy. Within this paradigm, ‘victims’ are considered female, and ‘perpetrators’ male. Despite the growing body of research challenging this perspective and suggesting more parity between men and women in their propensity for violence, UK services and treatment programmes continue to be influenced by the gender paradigm, thus neglecting men and women whose experiences do not fit this dominant discourse. The current study aimed to give voice to women who have been abusive and violent towards male partners, to learn more about their subjective experiences. Interviews were conducted with seven women. Transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, underpinned by a phenomenological hermeneutic epistemology. Three themes were developed; the women foregrounded past abusive traumatic experiences in their accounts, and the way they repeated, replayed, and reenacted these is illustrated in ‘Repeating the Past’. ‘From Pain to Violence’ captures how their rage and violent behaviour appeared to be a complex manifestation of these earlier unresolved experiences. ‘Disconnecting’ illustrates the way they disconnected from their experiences, and experienced breakdowns in social connection. The findings highlight the need for practitioners working with IPV to provide multidimensional, relational approaches to treatment, in which the therapeutic relationship is carefully considered. Individualised clinical interventions that develop emotional, psychological, and neurobiological capacities may be beneficial. The study advocates the need for practitioners to be aware of, and open to challenging assumptions about intimate partner violence, thus reflective practice and supervision is fundamental.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral