Motherhood of battered women: The struggle for repairing the past

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The purpose of this study was to describe and analyze battered women's subjective perceptions of their own motherhood. Although there is substantial knowledge about the negative effects of children witnessing their mothers' abuse by their fathers, there is little research available on the motherhood of battered women. Examining this issue in the clinical, ethical, and research domains is a complex process. Yet, increasing our understanding of battered women's own perspective is essential if we want to implement comprehensive and effective treatment. The present study is based on semi-structured in-depth interviews with 20 battered women. The finding show that battered women describe a basic mission in their life that structure the core meaning of their motherhood, namely, to repair the negative experiences of physical and emotional distress caused by their parents. Such repair is seen as compensating for the past and as building a positive and safe emotional reality for their children's future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-326
Number of pages20
JournalClinical Social Work Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • Battered women
  • Motherhood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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