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Jessica Reedy

Doctor of Clinical Psychology, (Psychology)
Study Completed: 2018
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Women's Refuge clients' experience of social responses to domestic violence and interventions informed by Response-Based Practice

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Response-based practice provides an urgently needed framework for responding ethically to domestic violence. This research involved developing, delivering, and evaluating a response-based group intervention at Women's Refuge. The project's design used action research principles and thematic analysis in one study to develop the intervention with refuge advocates. A second study used discourse analysis to compare clients’ pre- and post- intervention accounts of social responses to their victimisation. Before intervention, discourses concealing violence and blaming victims predominated, positioning victims and perpetrators as pathological. Languaging represented perpetrators' violence as accidental/uncontrollable and concealed victim resistance. Narratives engaged traditional gender discourses of coercive control and violence as normative. Following intervention, clients re-positioned themselves as competent women who were neither blameworthy nor pathological. Intervention content and processes legitimated women's knowledge of how concealing violence, perpetrator responsibility and gendered social power relations diminish victims' safety. Thus, the intervention provided safe, dignifying social and physical spaces for clients.

Professor Mandy Morgan
Dr Ruth Gammon