The purpose of this study was to explore past intimate partner violence as it occurred in Appalachian women residing in rural and non-urbanized areas. The methodology was qualitative description. Twelve former intimate partner violence female victims shared their experiences through the socioculturally appropriate tradition of story-telling. The meta-theme, Turning Points, reflecting the perceived non-linearity of intimate partner violence was supported by three themes: (1) The Process of Abuse: (2) Learn from my Story; Don’t Let it be Your Story; and (3) Does Where I Live Make a Difference? All participants experienced patterns of abuse that cycled in frequency and severity, similar injuries and health problems, fear, helplessness, and, at times, hopelessness. Application of knowledge gained through naturalistic methods can advance our understanding of intimate partner violence as it occurs in vulnerable populations and the depth and breadth of sociocultural influences which may affect the public health threat of this type of violence.
- intimate partner violence
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