An exploratory examination of the meanings of residual injuries from intimate partner violence.Women Health. 2007; 45(3):85-102.WH
The meanings attached to residual injuries resulting from intimate partner violence (IPV) may play an important role in shaping psychological distress associated with these experiences. This study explored IPV victims' personal definitions and meanings of their residual IPV-related injuries as a first step in determining the potential psychological implications. Sixteen female victims of IPV with partner violence-related residual injuries, defined as marks, scars, and other permanent changes to their bodies met in small groups of 3-5 participants. Group discussions focused on the meanings individuals associated with their most distressing residual injury and the implications of those meanings for body image, interpersonal relationships, cues for posttraumatic responses, and other emotional reactions. Findings suggested that IPV-related injuries may be connected to the IPV, IPV-related blame, and may have implications for victims' self-identity and perceived potential for future relationships.