Three mothers' stories : life experiences with violence, abuse, mental illness and substance abuse




Morrison, Mary

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Many women and children in North America and other parts of the world are impacted by male perpetrated violence and often experience responses to this violence in the form of sadness, anxiety, and fear. Some of these women use substances to cope with their frightening and traumatic life situations. These mothers and their children often engage with multiple systems and agencies including, but not limited to, Health Services, Child Protection Services, and Transition Houses. Women often do not receive positive social responses when they seek help from these services. This qualitative research project shares the stories of three mothers with histories of violence, mental illness, and substance abuse. Using Narrative Inquiry the researcher shares the stories as they have been presented by the women, exploring how their life experiences have influenced their sense of identity and choices in seeking support in their communities. Using feminist, mothering, and response-based discourse lenses, the women’s narratives are presented and discussed.



mental health, substance abuse, violence, woman abuse, co-occurring disorders, mothers, women