For women who are in abusive relationships, social support and close family relationships may be critical to the successful resolution of the abuse. Efforts to enhance battered women’s support must be predicated on an understanding of women’s perceptions of effective support and the constraints they experience to seeking support. In this paper we present findings from a qualitative analysis of semistructured interviews with 31 women who were in abusive relationships. The women were interviewed three times over two and-a-half years. Results of the analysis included that women used female friends for support more often than family members, and that women were constrained from seeking support by (a) cultural and societal sanctions against leaving the relationship; (b) a pattern of caution in relating to others or forging new relationships; and (c) forced isolation/seeing self as isolative. Relationships with family members, especially parents, were not consistently seen as useful sources of support.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Professions(all)