Understanding Women’s Experiences and Coping with Domestic Violence in Kyrgyzstan: A grounded Theory Study

Understanding Women’s Experiences and Coping with Domestic Violence in Kyrgyzstan: A grounded Theory Study

April 10, 2013

April 10, 2013

Saltanat Childress, PhD Candidate, School of Social Work, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Abstract: There is a substantial literature on international domestic violence that provides theoretical insights into the causes, correlates, and sociobehavioral aspects of domestic violence, but little has been done to empirically illuminate the actual lived experiences of Kyrgyz women survivors of domestic violence as a ground for theorizing and intervention in the specific cultural context of Kyrgyzstan. Several reports of international organizations have emphasized the scope of this problem in Kyrgyzstan, yet no study has attempted to examine the meaning of domestic violence from the perspective of the survivors. To address this gap, this study used a qualitative approach to explore the experiences of women who have survived domestic violence and to provide insights based on these experiences to better understand what initiatives could make social services, law enforcement, and public health systems more responsive to their needs. As far as can be determined, this is the first study to directly examine the experiences of abused women in Kyrgyzstan and investigate essential elements of their life worlds, the importance of cultural factors in explaining how and why women experience domestic violence, and to examine their implications for social work policy, practice, and research.

 Bio: Saltanat Childress is a PhD Candidate at the School of Social Work, University of Maryland, Baltimore. She holds her MSW from Washington University in St. Louis, George Warren Brown School of Social Work. Her dissertation project focuses on the experiences of women who have experienced gender-based violence in Kyrgyzstan in order to develop a theoretical model using methods of qualitative research and grounded theory development. Saltanat worked as a Program Coordinator for the international development programs funded by the USAID, Asian Development Bank, European Union, and other international organizations in Kyrgyzstan and elsewhere in Central Asia on issues of land tenure rights, community-based public health, social economic rehabilitation and empowerment of women. She has extensive experience in coordinating community-based programs and conducting intervention research, managing regional level public information campaigns, and liaising relations with local governments on behalf of the international development programs.


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