Rural woman abuse: the voices of Kentucky women.

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This paper presents empirical data on rural women abuse gathered through an ethnographic method relying largely on 85 in-depth interviews with battered women, 50 of who are from the rural area in Kentucky. The interviews were held at spouse abuse shelters in 7 rural locations from 1991-94. The interview data covered 3 overlapping forms of abuse namely: physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. The findings demonstrated that women experience a considerable amount of these 3 forms of abuse from their husbands or partners. The information collected further indicated that despite several barriers faced by these women, they still carried out many acts of resistance and developed strategies to avoid being vulnerable to victimization. One such barrier is observed in the local law enforcement providers, whose support of battered women is sometimes compromised by their personal relationships with abusive men. This paper ends with a discussion of how rural patriarchy necessitates certain social policy initiatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-338
Number of pages30
JournalViolence Against Women
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies

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