The purpose of the study was to describe the experience of being abused within the context of a significant relationship and to explain how the nature of the relationship influences the choices a woman makes over time. The sample consisted of 30 women who were currently in or who had already left an abusive relationship. A semistructured, open-ended interview was used to obtain data on the duration, frequency, and severity of abuse sustained by women while in abusive relationships. Data were analyzed using constant comparative and domain analyses. An independent analyst determined that codes developed were reliable. A four-phase process describing entrapment in and recovery from an abusive relationship was generated: binding, enduring, disenaging, and recovering are phases through which a woman passes progressively as the meaning she ascribes to her abusive experience, her interactions with her partner, and her self-change. The process is cumulative and multidimensional.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/karen_landenburger/1/