Although violence against women is illegal in China, few studies have been published concerning this issue in that country. This article is part of a program of research undertaken in one province of China.
The purpose of this study was to understand, from the perspectives of women who have experienced gender-based violence (GBV), the intersections of gender and other social institutions in constructing GBV in Guangzhou, China. The research question was as follows: For women who have been unfortunate enough to be with a partner who is willing to use abuse, how is gender revealed in their discussion of the experience?
Women participants (N = 13) were all over the age of 21, had experienced some form of abuse in an intimate relationship, and had lived in Guangzhou at least for a year prior to data collection. They had a variety of backgrounds and experiences.
The majority spoke of GBV as common. "Saving face" was connected to fear of being judged and socially stigmatized which had emotional as well as material consequences. Eight situations in which social stigma existed and caused women to lose face were identified. Gender role expectations and gendered institutions played a part in family relationships and the amount of support a woman could expect or would ask for. The women in this study received very little support from systems in their society. A high proportion (67%) revealed symptoms of mental strain, and three talked about having depression or being suicidal.
The results are discussed in terms of identifying the mechanisms by which systems interlock and perpetuate GBV.
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- 1University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 2The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.
- 3University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
- 4Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada.
- J Interpers Violence. 2016 Feb;31(4):694-714. doi: 10.1177/0886260514556109. Epub 2014 Nov 18.
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