Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 403–417 | Cite as

Achieving a Sustainable Livelihood After Leaving Intimate Partner Violence: Challenges and Opportunities

  • Lynne Duffy
Original Article


A community-based research (CBR) study was carried out with single mothers who had left abusive relationships in order to better understand their experiences of finding a sustainable livelihood after experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV). Using the photovoice method and guided by the Sustainable Livelihoods (SL) framework, participants took photographs representing their experiences of violence through their transition to single motherhood and beyond. The findings reported through their photos and stories reveal an often long and arduous journey amidst the complexity of single parenting and the effects of violence. As with many people living on a low income, they incorporated creative strategies to survive and enhance their own and their children’s quality of life. Important areas for change are suggested through aspects of the SL framework and primary prevention.


Lone/single mothers Violence against women Sustainable livelihoods framework Employment Gender inequality Photovoice Community-based participatory research Visual research 



Sincere appreciation to the women who participated as co-researchers in this study and taught me so much, as well to our supportive community partners and research assistant, Cathy Kelly.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nursing FacultyUniversity of New BrunswickMonctonCanada

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