Trapped Between Structure and Culture: Exploring the Tensions in Domestic Violence Advocacy

dc.contributorTownsley, Eleanor
dc.contributorOfori, Michael
dc.contributor.advisorSever, Cass
dc.contributor.authorSadeh, Noa
dc.description.abstractDomestic violence victimization scholarship is critical for progressing domestic violence intervention efforts but has largely focused on psychology-based frameworks of examining victims’ help-seeking behaviors. Meanwhile, little attention has been given to intervention service providers’ experiences working with victims at the community level. The omission of service providers’ experiences and perspectives leaves a gap in the understanding of victims’ help-seeking processes and the barriers they face in accessing intervention services. Gaining a deeper understanding of the tensions and dynamics within intervention spaces and how they shape victims’ help-seeking trajectories and outcomes is essential in expanding and progressing support for community-based intervention efforts. I begin bridging this gap by exploring two socio-cultural processes. First, through a review of the existing literature, I evaluate the dominant socio-cultural norms surrounding violent forms of victimization that cultivate a process of stigmatization. Second, through in-depth qualitative interviews with victims’ advocates and my observations as an advocate, I analyze the tensions within the field of intervention. In exploring the micro-dynamics between service providers and their clients, I illustrate how victims’ help-seeking processes are shaped by institutional practices and definitions that reflect and run parallel to the process of stigmatization. Further, I bring to light the underlying complexities of defining domestic violence within intervention spaces, representing victimhood in institutionally perceived legitimate ways, and measuring successful recovery trajectories and outcomes in instances of domestic violence. This thesis contributes to broader scholarship on the topic by examining victims’ help-seeking processes from an institutional perspective and suggests a new framework for advocates to understand their role within victims’ help-seeking processes and the field of intervention.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipSociology & Anthropologyen_US
dc.subjectdomestic violenceen_US
dc.titleTrapped Between Structure and Culture: Exploring the Tensions in Domestic Violence Advocacyen_US
mhc.institutionMount Holyoke College


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