Growing up with domestic violence: the voices of resilience

Maree Henderson, 2013
“The aim of this research was to bring voice to the experiences of adult children exposed to domestic violence as children; to privilege their experiences, insights, contradictions and resistances in their stories of resilience as they negotiate lives free from violence.”
This thesis provides a literature review on the prevalence of domestic violence, the psychological effects of exposure to it, the resiliencies arising from domestic violence, substance abuse and the forgotten voice – the children.
In chapter four it provides stories of resilience and change.
“Resilience has been defined throughout the literature as the dynamic process of the development and preservation of healthy functioning within the face of adversity”

“A significant and recurrent storyline that emerged in the interviews was having a strong and caring relationship with a significant other person”

Chapter five outlines the experiences of abuse and the parents’ role.
Chapter six looks at the psychosocial effects children experience and the effect of keeping silence about it.
In the final interviews, the participants were asked two questions:
1. If you could go back and talk to yourself when you were a child and give yourself some advice from the future what would that be?
2. What advice would you give to children who are currently going being exposed to domestic violence?
Some answers are shown on pp.138-139
The author provides moving reflections in summary from p.141, including the below finding:
“While the emphasis on funding for intervention into domestic violence privilege men’s living free from violence programmes, this research suggests that services for women and children are necessary for the future wellbeing of our children.”
Find the paper here

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