An Analysis of the Psycho-Socio Stigma and Feelings of Isolation faced by Women in Göteborg and neighboring Municipalities
Abstract: In the midst of domestic violence, this study was an analysis of the psycho-socio stigma and feelings of isolation faced by women in Göteborg and neighboring municipalities. In shedding more light on the psycho-social aspects of stigma and feelings of isolation among women who had suffered abuse, the study adopted a qualitative analytic design based on in-depth interviews with social work professionals working with victims of violence and women who had survived violent relationships. In the study, stigma and isolation were portrayed as direct outcomes of violence. Findings in the latter showed stigma as a process starting from the abusive home with the abusive partner as the first stigmatizer; the process then stretches when the victim tries to integrate in the wider society thus taking on the societal stigma anchored on cultural norms and beliefs held on VAW. Findings in the former showed isolation as a kind of violence and a sign of violence; used with a controlling aspect, it was meant to restrict women’s movements in all spheres of life increasing their proneness to suffer more violent acts while in seclusion. The study concludes that social conditions such as VAW can only be stigmatizing when people perceive them as such and that the individual stigma of being the ‘abused woman’ is more profound because it is a feeling from within. Isolation as an act and prerequisite for violence can be neutralized by the presence of social networks for support; moreover support from such networks is dependent on their full awareness of the situation which was more often than not concealed. The study scope in terms of area affected the generalizability of findings; nevertheless, efforts for future research could thus be made in that direction.
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