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How Women Experience Battering: The Process of Victimization

Kathleen J. Ferraro and John M. Johnson
Social Problems
Vol. 30, No. 3, Thematic Issue: Technique and the Conduct of Life (Feb., 1983), pp. 325-339
DOI: 10.2307/800357
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/800357
Page Count: 15
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How Women Experience Battering: The Process of Victimization
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Abstract

Wife battering has gained recognition throughout the Western world as a widespread social problem, yet little is known about what it feels like to be battered by someone you love. We talked with more than a hundred battered women in the United States, as well as the staffs in shelters where they seek support, to learn more about how women experience battering. We found that women who remain in violent relationships rationalize what is happening to them in six ways. Only when battered women reject these rationalizations and begin to view themselves as true victims of abuse does the victimization process actually begin. We discuss six catalysts that can bring about this redefinition and examine the physical and emotional toll that the experience of battering takes on a woman.

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