Women Escaping Violence: Empowerment through Narrative by Elaine J. Lawless

By Elaine J. Lawless

The statistics are alarming. a few say that after each 9 mins a lady within the usa is crushed by way of her wife or companion. Others declare that when each 4 mins a lady on the planet is overwhelmed via her wife or associate. extra ladies visit emergency rooms within the usa for accidents sustained by the hands in their spouses and companions than for all different accidents mixed. Shelters for battered ladies are crammed past ability each day of the 12 months. regardless of the overpowering facts that violence in our houses is a regular truth, such a lot folks aren't prepared to recognize this deepest violence or discuss it overtly. girls Escaping Violence brings women's tales to the eye of the academy in addition to the analyzing public. whereas we will be unwilling or not able to discuss the difficulty of battered ladies, many folks are able to learn what girls need to say approximately their endangered lives. massive scholarship is rising within the region of household violence, together with many self-help books approximately how one can establish and break out abuse. girls Escaping Violence deals the original view of battered women's tales advised of their personal phrases, in addition to a feminist research of ways those ladies use the ability of narrative to remodel their experience of self and regain a spot in the better society. Lawless stocks with the reader the heart-wrenching reports of battered ladies who've escaped violence via fleeing to shelters with little various goods rapidly shoved right into a plastic bag, and infrequently with babies in tow. The ebook comprises women's tales as they're instructed and retold in the defend, within the presence of different battered girls and of caregivers. It analyzes the makes use of made up of those narratives by means of these trying to counsel battered ladies in addition to by way of the ladies themselves.

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How can her stories lead us to help ourselves and others? Finding the answers to some of these critical questions is part of the task I set for myself. If we resist the impulse to use the cycle of violence as a template, the question then becomes, what would we hear in the women’s stories if we listened carefully, being attentive to these patterns as well as to others that emerge from their narratives? ”11 Women who have been in shelters or who have been in counseling for domestic violence know this identified cycle of violence and abuse.

Let me acknowledge that women’s stories often contain the “red flag” characteristics that we have come to associate with the abuser. No doubt about it. The cycles of abuse are in the women’s stories: He is a knight in shining armor come to rescue and love her (she may even use this language); he loves her too much to share her with anybody; he doesn’t want her to work; he wants to take care of her; he wants her to dress only for him; he begins to be very possessive and jealous; he tells her to not even worry about her looks because he loves her just the way she is; he takes away the car keys; he follows and monitors her every move; he begins to accuse her of having affairs with anyone she meets or talks to or even mentions in conversation; he goes into fits and rages, hitting the doors, the car, kicking and breaking things; then he hits her hard; and he is very, very sorry; he buys her things, begs for forgiveness, cries, tells her he loves only her—but in a few weeks or months he hits her again, harder; he beats her badly, she may even end up in the hospital; and the cycle begins again, with another “honeymoon” period of sweetness, gifts, remorse, and him treating her like a queen—then it happens again, this time even harder; he may break her nose, her arm, kill the fetus in her womb—and the cycle continues over and over and over again.

We shall make this journey neither easily, nor without pain and suffering; the backlash has already been immense. And, of course, it is easy for the established scholars to write and speak about their own life journeys in such glowing, holistic, connected ways that their accounts can only illuminate the difficulties inherent in our own. I am reminded of all INTRODUCTION 19 the books I have read by Jerome Bruner, for example. An author of more than forty books on the subject, Bruner is recognized as a leader in the field of autobiography.

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