Our research has evolved over the years as our understanding of the stigma surrounding intimate partner violence has expanded. When we began our research in 2010, we were unable to locate any previous research that had applied the concept of stigma to experiences of intimate partner violence. We’ve since learned of a few other researchers studying this phenomenon, but at the time, we were interested in learning whether the concept of stigma—which had been studied extensively in social psychological research on other populations—applied to intimate partner violence.
One truth we’ve learned through our work—and one we hope to convey in the pages of our book—is that intimate partner violence is both a common experience that often involves some typical dynamics and a unique experience that is always experienced in an individualized way. We made a decision early in our research that we would take the stance of believing the participants in our research, even and especially when their stories seemed so extreme as to be difficult to believe. Even in this stance of believing, we acknowledge that the participants in our research share their stories from their own perspective, and others involved in the situation may have described certain facts and experiences in a different way. However, we believe that honoring survivors of abuse by believing them is one key step to ending the stigma surrounding abuse. Survivors’ stories don’t end with the abuse they experienced. In fact, we heard from survivors in our research that the abuse was but just one part of their stories. It is an important part of the story, and one that should be honored. But the real power in their stories can be found in what happens after the abuse.
In the pages of our book, you’ll read many more stories of survivors who have walked through the tragedy of abuse and dealt with the stigma that surrounds it, but moved into the triumph of recovery and strength. We believe that survivors of abuse are unsung heroes, and we hope you’ll be inspired and encouraged by their strength and power as you learn more about their experiences. Whether you have experienced abuse yourself, now or in the past, or whether someone you care about is being or has been abused, or whether you’re a professional who works with individuals impacted by intimate partner violence, and even if you fall into all of these categories, we hope that this book deepens your understanding of the experiences of survivors of abuse and inspires you to take action to support victims and survivors, hold offenders accountable, and prevent future violence in your life, your community, and society.
Get your copy today! More information about our book can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Stigma-Intimate-Partner-Abuse/dp/1138121320