Domestic Violence in Aboriginal Communities: A Context for Resilience

Title: Domestic Violence in Aboriginal Communities: A Context for Resilience
Authors: Olsen Harper, Anita
Date: 2011
Abstract: My research is a study of the perspectives of resilience by survivors of domestic violence (DV) in three Aboriginal communities. The Executive Directors (EDs) of the women's shelters on these reserves were interviewed, as well as three DV survivors who were identified by the EDs. The meanings articulated by interviewees is intended to provide educators and those in anti-violence efforts with an increased understanding of resilience as defined by Aboriginal DV survivors. The interpretations that were voiced are different from those that are understood according to prevailing Western tradition. Among Aboriginal populations, internally-derived perspectives of resilience, I contend, are foundational in developing curricula aimed at reducing DV and its traumatic manifestations. DV is often deceptively and simplistically construed as the conduct and dynamics of two people within a home. However, my investigative study that includes a comprehensive literature review, exposes the fallacy of this assumption as it pertains to Aboriginal communities: DV has historic origins that are strongly grounded in colonialism. DV is, as well, socially constructed in power hierarchies that sustain patriarchal supremacy, and a devastating social and psychological plague in all reserve communities. My research recognizes that community-based interventions in Aboriginal communities can only be effectively operationalized with the knowledge of the intricacies of colonialism as they pertain specifically to DV. Drawing on traditional beliefs and community principles such as meaningful participation, integration of cultural and spiritual practices, recognition of historical injustices by colonizing forces, consensus-derived decision-making involving women and youth all help inform educational offerings about the actionable content and delivery of resilience teachings. Keywords: Aboriginal, colonialism, domestic violence, resilience, well-being
CollectionTh├Ęses, 1910 - 2010 // Theses, 1910 - 2010
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