Mothering through Domestic Violence

By Lorraine Radford; Marianne Hester | Go to book overview
Save to active project

3
Resisting Mother Blaming

We argued in Chapter 1 that the individualization of responsibility for crime and victimization has provided a cultural and political context in which mother blaming can flourish and perpetrators 'disappear'. Women who are abused are sometimes seen by the police, child protection and the courts as responsible for their own victimization. Even some feminist interventions stress individual responsibilities by focusing on 'helping women to develop the personal resolve to stay out of an abusive relationship' (Nichols and Feltey 2003, p.785). We do not believe that there is one route that women follow when moving from 'victim' of domestic violence to 'survivor'. Not all women who have lived with domestic violence identify themselves as 'victims' or as 'survivors' because their experiences do not match the images that the terms 'victim' and 'survivor' of domestic violence invoke in contemporary cultural contexts. 'Victim' of domestic violence is associated with the term 'battered woman' so widely used in the US literature. This suggests the vision of severe, frequent physical assault verging on the lethal, and excludes the broader range of abusive, manipulative and controlling behaviour that domestic violence often includes. Women's experiences of domestic violence are very varied. Not all women who live with domestic violence are beaten daily by their partners, although research findings show that the violence may escalate in severity and frequency over the course of the relationship (Dobash and Dobash 1980). In our interviews with women, we heard that living with the threat of abusive behaviour may be constant for some women, but many also remember good times when the partner's behaviour rekindled their hope that things could change (Dominy and Radford 1996; Hester and Radford 1996a). The term 'battered woman'further invokes an image of the batterer as an all-powerful demon but the majority are ordinary men (Corvo and Johnson 2003), and, as others have noted, often also charming (Horley 2002). The

-38-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Mothering through Domestic Violence
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 176

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?