Spirituality as a means of resilience for women recovering from intimate partner abuse




Nadal, Samantha

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Intimate partner abuse is a prevalent social concern which causes long-term physical, emotional, and cognitive effects on survivors. Studies suggest that spirituality is a useful resource for individuals recovering from trauma related to intimate partner abuse, however, more research is needed to understand the intricate ways spirituality contributes to the recovery process. Through a qualitative approach, this study examines the ways in which women who have experienced intimate partner abuse use spirituality in the process of coping and recovering. Open-ended interviews were conducted with eight women who have experienced intimate partner abuse and identified spirituality as an essential part of their lives. The results uncovered specific belief systems underlining each participant’s sense of spirituality, as well as practices, rituals, and behaviors they engaged in during their experiences in coping and recovery. Participants reported spirituality as a means of reclaiming one’s sense-of-self and as fostering empowerment in the aftermath of intimate partner abuse. They also indicated that spirituality fostered forgiveness and self-compassion, and helped them cope with the long-term effects of trauma including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.



Spirituality, Intimate Partner Abuse, Resilience