Factors Affecting The Professional African American Woman's Domestic Violence Trajectories
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Type of WorkText
ProgramDoctor of Philosophy
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Intimate partner violence
Domestic violence is a leading cause of injury to women in the United States. Although there is a vibrant foundation of research in the area of domestic violence, previous studies of domestic violence among minorities have used large numbers of research participants with low incomes and low educational levels from which to base their findings, often overlooking the experiences of well-educated non-white women with careers. The purpose of this study is to describe the experiences of professional African American women as they transition into, through and out of violent relationships with intimate partners. Using the womanist perspective to view domestic violence from a Black woman's social, cultural, and gendered standpoint, the current qualitative study engaged a purposive sample of 10 African American women who have experienced intimate partner violence as professionals. To grasp the lived experience of domestic violence among professional African American women, two to three semi-structured interviews were conducted using Seidman's (2006) phenomenological approach to interviewing. Microsoft OneNote was used to assist with the coding of qualitative data. Results point to the roles higher education, career accomplishment and positive self-concept played in identification and tolerance of abuse. Future studies will use the qualitative findings gleaned from this study to develop a survey to determine the generalizability of the study findings. This study contributes to the social work profession by providing knowledge useful for improving domestic violence services available to this population.