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NCJ Number: 199962 Find in a Library
Title: Leaving an Abusive Partner: An Empirical Review of Predictors, the Process of Leaving, and Psychological Well-Being
Journal: Trauma, Violence, Abuse  Volume:4  Issue:2  Dated:April 2003  Pages:163-191
Author(s): Deborah K. Anderson; Daniel G. Saunders
Date Published: April 2003
Page Count: 29
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper reviews four facets of leaving an abusive relationship: factors related to initially leaving the abusive partner, the process of leaving an abusive relationship, the psychological well-being of survivors after leaving, and the predictors of this well-being.
Abstract: Research has consistently found predictors of leaving an abusive relationship in two broad categories: material resources, notably employment and income level, and social-psychological factors. Many abuse victims go through several phases in the process of terminating the abusive relationship. They may leave and return to the relationship many times, as they learn new coping skills. These phases may involve cognitive and emotional resolve to leave the relationship before actually leaving. The phases include endurance of and managing the violence while disconnecting from self and others; acknowledging the abuse, reframing it, and counteracting it; and disengaging from the relationship and devising plans to meet one's own needs for safety and a better life. A fourth phase that follows separation is not addressed by the majority of studies. Trauma effects decline in the months after leaving the abusive relationship, but a significant number of women continue to experience posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and other traumatic problems. Continued harassment and violence from the abuser after leaving the relationship, along with problems of economic and social support, can lead to a debilitating psychological state. Preliminary evidence indicates that access to various coping resources can protect against negative psychological outcomes. Key resources are social support, material support, and the building of confidence in one's power to control and manage life experiences. 2 tables, 139 references, and 3 suggested readings
Main Term(s): Victim services
Index Term(s): Domestic assault; Domestic assault prevention; Psychological victimization effects
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