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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 204085 Find in a Library
Title: Surviving Violence: Women's Strength Through Connection (From Female Offenders: Critical Perspectives and Effective Interventions, P 245-263, 1998, Ruth T. Zaplin, ed., -- See NCJ-204080)
Author(s): Carolyn Swift
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Aspen Publishers, Inc.
Fredrick, MD 21704
Sale Source: Aspen Publishers, Inc.
7201 McKinney Circle
Fredrick, MD 21704
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter examines the connection between female and male violence and considers the use of relational theory for the treatment and education of women offenders with a history of abuse and victimization.
Abstract: Although an empirical causal link between childhood maltreatment and female crime and delinquency has yet to be established, practitioners who work with female offenders typically see women who have experienced some form of abuse in their lives. The chapter opens with a section exploring the societal norms that support male violence against women and the unequal distribution of power in male/female relationships. This unequal distribution of power in male/female interpersonal relationships feeds into the cultural acceptance of the use of violence to ensure compliance, and even helps to reinforce the use of physical violence to resolve interpersonal conflicts. Women who have lived with violence in their lives from the time of childhood tend to normalize the violence; it takes a person outside of the violent relationship to clarify the risk involved for women victims of violence. Women’s shelters are described as safe places for women to seek shelter from violence and to begin to piece together their lives. The benefits of group support in such settings are extrapolated to the potential for group support in women’s prisons. Relational theory can offer an effective treatment approach for women offenders who have suffered a history of abuse. Relational theory, which is closely tied to power-belief theory, focuses on women’s development in the context of a patriarchal society. The focus is on the imbalance of power between women and men, which serves to increase the chances of male abuse of women. As such, the power of group settings to heal the emotional wounds of female victims of violence is underscored as the author examines the therapeutic potential of battered women’s shelters and group therapies in women’s prisons. These supportive group settings model healthy relationships and promote the growth of positive self-esteem so that women can break down the barriers erected by abuse and begin to take charge of their lives and their futures. References
Main Term(s): Female offenders; Victims of violent crime
Index Term(s): Battered wives treatment; Child abuse treatment; Treatment intervention model
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