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Professor’s site shows ‘triumph’ of domestic violence survivors

Posted on Thursday, January 24th, 2013 by Research under Spotlights
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Repost from University News

Article by Michelle Hines

Stigma still surrounds domestic violence. Even those who escape it can feel misunderstood, even re-victimized, by friends, family, law enforcement, the court system and therapists.

See the Triumph,” a new website and blog, offers support for those struggling to break free from abusive relationships. The site is the brainchild of UNCG Counseling and Educational Development Associate Professor Christine Murray, and Allison Crowe, assistant professor of counselor education at East Carolina University.

Based on research conducted by Murray and Crowe, survivors share their stories, as well as uplifting messages, through the site. “It really shows the courage it takes to get out, to leave, to end the abuse,” Murray says.

Murray, who also directs the Program to Advance Community Responses to Violence Against Women in UNCG’s Center for Women’s Health and Wellness, and Crowe developed “See the Triumph” as a result of two research studies. They interviewed 12 adult women who had been free of violent relationships for at least two years; another 220 people, men and women, responded to an electronic survey.

Christine Murray

Christine E. Murray, Associate Professor, Counseling and Educational Development; Program Director, Program to Advance Community Responses to Violence Against Women

Victims spoke about how they experienced domestic violence and its stigma, how they overcame it, and how they have kept themselves free of abusive relationships.

“It was hard doing the interviews, and it is hard reading the stories, but it was hard for them to go through these experiences,” Murray says. “We felt that simply reducing it to 25 pages in a peer-reviewed journal would be doing an injustice to the stories.”

Murray and Crowe developed “See the Triumph” as a more accessible, more direct resource. The electronic survey is still open, so survivors can continue to tell their stories in their own language, anonymously, sending the messages they want to send.

Positive messages are posted on the site, supported by uplifting images. The goal is to build a sense of hope and empowerment for abuse victims, Murray says, and hopefully lessen the societal stigma.

The name “See the Triumph” came from a quote from one survivor building a new life: “The only thing that bothers me about it is that other people can’t see the triumph in it. Because to me this is a treasure to be at this point in my life. … Some people don’t even start to realize that they have the issues or start dealing with them until they get to this point.”

The statistics are staggering. Domestic violence is the single greatest cause of injury to women, according to a report by Americans for a Department of Peace:

  • Every 15 seconds a woman in U.S. is beaten by current or former husband or intimate partner.
  • As many as 70 percent of children who witness domestic violence are also victims of child abuse.
  • One third of all teenagers report having experienced violence in a dating relationship.
  • 4 million women are victims of severe assaults by boyfriends and  husbands each year.
  • Approximately one third of all women with children in homeless shelter cite domestic violence as the primary cause of their homelessness.
  • 1,500 American women are murdered by husbands or boyfriends each year.

Find the site at http://www.seethetriumph.org and access the Facebook pagand Twitter feeds. “See the Triumph” is not an abuse helpline, but it does list resources for seeking help.

 


Reposted from University News

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