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Disclosing violence in calls for help

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journal contribution
posted on 03.03.2021, 04:04 by Emma Tennent, Ann Weatherall
© 2019, equinox publishing. Violence against women is a pervasive problem, both in New Zealand society and around the world. Yet assessing the scale and effects of violence is difficult, as many women face barriers to disclosure. This paper examines women's disclosures of violence in calls for help to a victim support agency. We use conversation analysis and focus on membership categorisation to describe the different ways disclosures are built and understood in situ. It was only in a minority of cases (around 20%), that callers made direct reference to violence, or categorised themselves explicitly as victims, albeit with indications of problems in speaking. However, for the majority, women did not mention the words 'victim' or 'violence' at all. Instead, culturally shared knowledge associated with categories of people (e.g. ex-partners) and places (e.g. home and jail) were used to build and interpret a description as a disclosure of violence. Our work contributes to an understanding of women's disclosures of violence by examining them directly in the setting where they occur. We discuss some of the insights gained from examining interactions in situ, and the practical applications of our work for improving services for women who have experienced violence.

History

Preferred citation

Tennent, E. & Weatherall, A. (2019). Disclosing violence in calls for help. Gender and Language, 13(2), 270-288. https://doi.org/10.1558/genl.35106

Journal title

Gender and Language

Volume

13

Issue

2

Publication date

31/07/2019

Pagination

270-288

Publisher

Equinox Publishing

Publication status

Published online

Contribution type

Article

Online publication date

25/03/2019

ISSN

1747-6321

eISSN

1747-633X

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