Being Bashed: Western Samoan women's responses to domestic violence in Western Samoa and New Zealand

Authors: Cribb, Jo; Barnett, Ross

Source: Gender, Place and Culture - A Journal of Feminist Geography, Volume 6, Number 1, 1 March 1999 , pp. 49-65(17)

Publisher: Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group

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Given the large impact that domestic violence has on many women's lives, it is surprising that research in this area has largely neglected the ways in which women respond to this problem in different cultural contexts. This article examines variations in Western Samoan women's responses to domestic violence in three different contexts, in rural and urban Western Samoa and in Christchurch, New Zealand. The authors find that processes relating to the individualisation of social relations, changes in women's economic independence, and political mechanisms that provide formal support for battered women go some way to explaining variations in women's responses to abuse in the three contexts. However, the findings rule out any simple link between context and responses to physical abuse and caution us against the naive hope that changes in a single variable will reduce women's vulnerability to violence.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 1999

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