About the changing world all around us

It’s finished! Breaking away! A master thesis on domestic violence

I am happy to announce the finish of my long project which I began working on some time last year, and finally delivered the finished work to Oslo University College this afternoon. That means yes I will also have time to blog again.


My thesis is made up of two articles based on a qualitative study of domestic violence in association with the women’s shelter where I work. Here for the mildly interested are the summaries for the two articles, if you are very interested you can click here to read the whole darn thing if you like!!

Thanks to all my friends for sticking by me through the whole process and not giving up visiting my blog. And a really BIG thanks to RennyBA for putting up with all my moods, stress, tears, and sharing my joy as well. You are the best!

Discourses of survival: A study of the discourses domestic violence survivors reveal in talking about coping and reestablishment

In this article, Discourses of survival: A study of the discourses domestic violence survivors reveal in talking about coping and reestablishment, the focus is placed on prevailing discourses identified in interviews with female domestic violence survivors.

The article is founded in a qualitative study of women who stayed at a local women’s shelter in the fall of 2008. Through discourse analysis of the interviews the article will lift up the users own voices as they share their experiences regarding receiving help from a local women’s shelter and re-establishing themselves in a home free from violence.

The results of the article identify four discourses which are present in all of the women’s interviews. These discourses are called 1) collective solutions discourse, 2) others-are-worse-off discourse, 3) violent experience discourse, and 4) Norwegian normative discourse. Through the use of Faucault’s definitions of discourse, power, and knowledge coupled with Butler’s theory of performative gender the article will show how these discourses both empower and challenge these survivors.

Valuable help: identifying best practice in social work with abused women

The theoretical perspective of the article is known as best practice. This concept as used in the article is based on Ferguson’s (2007) method which places the focus on where social work has had a positive outcome, or is considered to be a success. Although best practice is most commonly used when the worker identifies a situation where he or she perceives the work as successful, in this study it is the user who is in focus. The participants described situations where they felt successful, supported, or strengthened and identified best practice based on their own experiences.

The results showed that all of the women mentioned the safety aspect of the shelter as being significant. Physical refuge and having an alternative to returning home was rated as important to the users. Next is the category of guidance, sorting and planning which all of the users mentioned as being a necessary part of regaining control over a chaotic situation. Further help in setting appropriate goals was seen as useful. The starting point for the users varied, so setting appropriate goals required patience, flexibility, and individual focus on the part of the social workers. All of the participants also worked on their network in some way. The majority relied on their existing network for help, but some of the participants also found the shelters opportunities for creating new network connections as valuable. Lastly practical help was considered important by the participants. Although the need for help varied based on the individual all of the users reported relying on the shelter for some form of practical help.


Comments on: "It’s finished! Breaking away a master thesis on domestic violence" (12)

  1. Well done Diane! Will sit down and have a read as soon as I have a quiet moment to myself – very interested to read.

    So now it’s party time?


    • Thanks! The most important is that I am finished!! Today I spent the whole day in the sunshine playing golf with my hubby!!

  2. Congrats my dear. I’m happy for you and very proud of you!

  3. Yeah! How wonderful! Congratulations!!!!
    Now you can come out and play again!!!

  4. Congrats, I bet it feels incredible to have this finished and another accomplishment in life to tick off! 🙂

  5. Good job! I will read when I will have a quiet moment, the subject is very interesting.

    Must feel good to accomplish something that… draining I assume!

  6. Yay for you!

    It’s a tough one – on our local shelter, sometimes the men discover the location and track the women down. Getting away from the abuser is key, because orders of protection often are not effective.

    DianeCA:Sometimes they help and sometimes they don’t. Not all men are as aggressive. Some stop battering when the wife leaves, while others chase them to the ends of the earth. I feel that stronger sanctions are needed against those who continue to go after the women when the marriage is over, and more should be invested in active treatment for the men so they learn another way to deal with their feelings and do not resort to violence with their partners, or new partners.

  7. You finally made it ! Congratulations !

  8. a very belated congratulations. i know this was a lot of work over a long period of time. you must feel very good to have it finally completed.

  9. Congratulation again, Maître Diane!
    the subject was very interesting and the best was you could experiment yourself at your job not only in books as I did in 1987 for my Master in Law! I remember as i appreciated the moment i was finished with my exams! It was as if I danced on the moon!!!

  10. Diane,
    first of all: Congrats, you did it.
    Then, how to explain, as I’m so strange to such behaviour, I can’t understand it’s happing to our next door. Even I do it does.

    Next time we meet – you must tell more.

    btw. One of our friends passed her Doctor Grade on the theme: How does “what you here have described in your Master thesis” impact the professional people that are working with these tragic cases.

  11. Sweet blog. I never know what I am going to come across next. I think you should do more posting as you have some pretty intelligent stuff to say.

    I’ll be watching you . 🙂

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