From a humble identity to an identity of respect: lifetime abuse among Arab Israeli older women

Rahma Mahamid, Tova Band-Winterstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study addresses the retrospective experiences of older Arab Israeli women after a lifetime of living in the shadow of intimate partner violence. Qualitative research was conducted, using in-depth, semi-structured interviews of 15 Arab Israeli older women. Underlying this study is a feminist perspective and a life course perspective. Two main themes emerged: (1) socially endorsed violence against Arab Israeli women. This took several forms: men’s dominant position and women’s dependence, sources of violence used against women before and after marriage, and the social education of women to accept their fate. (2) The construction of a multifaceted survival identity throughout Arab Israeli women’s life and old age. This identity has a variety of dimensions, including: a submissive victim identity, a rehabilitative identity of respect in old age, and a form of split identity that combines both the rehabilitative social identity and the marginal identity still experienced within the home.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Elder Abuse and Neglect
Early online date15 Mar 2024
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Taylor & Francis.


  • Arab society
  • intimate partner violence
  • lifetime abuse
  • older women
  • the feminist approach
  • the life course perspective

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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