Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 269–289

Women's strategies for survival: Developing agency in abusive relationships

  • Lora Bex Lempert

DOI: 10.1007/BF02336945

Cite this article as:
Lempert, L.B. J Fam Viol (1996) 11: 269. doi:10.1007/BF02336945


The simultaneity of love and violence in the lived experiences of abused women forms the context within which these women construct meaning and develop agency. Utilizing grounded theory methodology (Glaser, 1978; Glaser and Strauss, 1967; Strauss, 1987; Strauss and Corbin, 1990), this paper explicates these agentic processes by analyzing the strategies employed by 32 abused women, publically and privately, to mitigate the violence and its effects. By highlighting the contradictory duality in these relationships, the processes by which abused women strategize and develop agency to halt, change, and/or cope with the violence becomes analytically salient.

Key Words

abuseagencybatteringdomestic violencewife abuseviolence

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lora Bex Lempert
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Behavioral SciencesThe University of Michigan-DearbornDearborn