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Women's experience of endogenous factors that maintain an abusive spousal relationship: a phenomenological study

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dc.contributor.advisor Mrs. F.H. Kaldine en
dc.contributor.author Musson-Seedat, Saudah
dc.date.accessioned 2010-04-19T07:54:09Z
dc.date.available 2010-04-19T07:54:09Z
dc.date.issued 2010-04-19T07:54:09Z
dc.date.submitted 2008
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3221
dc.description M.A. en
dc.description.abstract Spousal abuse has been a practiced for decades across many cultures. According to the Domestic Violence Act, 1998 of S.A. spousal abuse consists of physical, sexual, emotional verbal psychological and economic abuse as well as various forms of intimidation by a spouse. Abuse against women and children seems to be entrenched in gender power equalities and hierarchical gender relations prevalent in society. The advent of feminism, that deals with issues of inequality between the genders, in the nineteenth century highlighted the problem of spousal abuse and challenged cultural and patriarchal notions of women. In South Africa spousal abuse is alarmingly prevalent and deeply ingrained within our society and is often viewed as a normative rather than a deviant practice. The legacy of political repression, a declining economy and diminishing job opportunities, insufficient educational opportunities and racial and ethnic divisions, has for decades generated deep rooted divisions in our society. Women in particular are the historically the victims of political and economic exclusion and have suffered the ravages of patriarchy, sexism and discriminatory practices that have kept them outside of social, political and economic power structures. In this process, abuse against women has been subtly sanctioned by society. This reflects the extent to which exploitation and abuse, in varying forms, have come to pervade the very foundations of our society and have become a socially sanctioned instrument for resolving conflict and promoting change. Because of the continued cultural sanctioning of spousal abuse it is often underreported, making statistics on the subject extremely difficult to obtain. The present study explored the women’s endogenous factors that contributed to the maintenance of their abusive spousal relationship. In essence these factors refer to the thoughts, feelings and beliefs which are significant in the experience of being in an abusive relationship. The study further looked at how these endogenous factors entrap women in abusive relationships. In order to contextualise the experience of being in an abusive spousal relationship the literature review (which makes up the first four chapters 2 of this study) concentrated on several different areas. The first chapter addresses the aims and motivations of the present study. The second chapter deals with established theories and thoughts about the existence of spousal abuse in relationships. Theoretical explanations highlighting some of the endogenous maintaining factors in an abusive spousal relationship are presented. These include psychodynamic theories, systems theory, feminism, eco-systemic approach, social constructionism and postmodernism. The third chapter deals with women’s responses to spousal abuse. The fourth chapter deals with the interaction between women’s socialisation and their response to spousal abuse. It would seem that abused woman find themselves in varying contradictory interactional contexts. Their spouse represents the person who loves them the most, yet he hurts them the most too. Their calls for support by informing others are seen as dishonouring their families yet when they decide to keep the abuse quiet they are condemned. These paradoxes confront abused women when they are in need of help, support and understanding. These cultural and societal norms are confusing and inconsistent, together with various emotions, serve to paralyse the abused women and limit their choices. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Abused wives en
dc.subject Wife abuse en
dc.subject Locus of control en
dc.subject Abusive men en
dc.subject Marital violence en
dc.subject Phenomenological psychology en
dc.title Women's experience of endogenous factors that maintain an abusive spousal relationship: a phenomenological study en
dc.type Thesis en

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