A common question asked about abused women is, "Why don't they leave?" This qualitative study explored the experiences of 15 African American and 15 Anglo American women who had terminated abusive relationships. The constant comparative method of analysis of audiotaped interviews revealed a 3-phase process of leaving: being in, getting out, and going on. Participants endured abuse until they could relinquish the fantasy of a happy relationship. Differences in relationship power and public response to abuse distinguished the experiences of Anglo and African American participants. Findings support the notion of leaving as a social process with similarities across both groups. However, critical differences in responses suggest that leaving is a culture-bound experience.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Phychiatric Mental Health