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Drawing the line: how African, Caribbean and White British women live out psychologically abusive experiences

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1104-32
Number of pages29
JournalViolence against Women
Issue number9
DatePublished - Sep 2013


This study explores how African, Caribbean and White British women worked to hide psychological partner abuse as they experienced it, "do gender," and appear competent in social roles. They prioritized negotiated competencies as "good partners," actively setting socially and culturally embedded boundaries to their abuser's behaviors: an inner boundary encompassing normal behaviors and an outer one of "acceptable" behaviors projected as normal through remedial work. Behaviors breaching the outer boundary (e.g., if the women narrowed the bounds of the "acceptable") compromised the women's competence. This sometimes led them to actively use support services. Appropriate advice and support may change the boundaries.



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