"Everybody makes choices"

Victim advocates and the social construction of battered women's victimization and agency

Jennifer L. Dunn, Melissa A Powell-Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

57 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Semistructured interviews with 32 domestic violence victim advocates illuminate how advocates explain "battered women who stay." The interviews show that this behavior is a source of great frustration for advocates, who struggle to simultaneously conceive of battered women as victims trapped by social, psychological, and interactional forces and as agents whose choices must be respected. The authors argue that their organizational subculture and the culture of individualism in the contemporary United States do not provide the ideological and linguistic resources necessary for managing this dilemma. This results in a tendency to overemphasize battered women's choice and thereby diminish the constraints they face.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)977-1001
Number of pages25
JournalViolence Against Women
Volume13
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007

Fingerprint

social construction
victimization
subculture
interview
individualism
frustration
domestic violence
linguistics
resources

Keywords

  • Agency
  • Social constructionism
  • Victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

Cite this

"Everybody makes choices" : Victim advocates and the social construction of battered women's victimization and agency. / Dunn, Jennifer L.; Powell-Williams, Melissa A.

In: Violence Against Women, Vol. 13, No. 10, 01.10.2007, p. 977-1001.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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