Methods: This research adopted a qualitative research method due to the limited knowledge about this topic and its exploratory nature. Ten anti-domestic violence volunteers who experienced violence in intimate relationship or childhood in China were approached and interviewed face-to-face or through telephone from January to April 2020. Each interview lasted from 60 to 90 minutes. All ten volunteers were female. Eight were divorced. Their age ranged from 30 to 90s and they served as volunteers in eight anti-violence organizations/programs. They had an average of seven years’ anti-domestic volunteer experiences.
Results: The findings indicated that the experiences of domestic violence shattered the victims’ beliefs, assumptions, and values about interpersonal and intimate relationships, society, humanity, and life. On the other hand, the victims showed resilience toward domestic violence. The experiences of domestic violence made them reflect on their original beliefs, assumptions, and values and motivated them to change both their personal situations and oppressive family and social environments. They became more sensitive to the negative impacts of domestic violence and made efforts to help other victims of domestic violence. The experiences of being anti-domestic violence volunteers were found to contributed to their post-traumatic growth through regaining self-esteem and self-confidence, expanding relationships with others, and developing and pursuing new possibilities in life.
Conclusions and Implications: The victims of domestic violence in this research showed resilience toward domestic violence. They not only made efforts to change their personal oppressive situations, but also were willing to help other domestic violence victims. The involvement in anti-domestic violence as volunteers contributed to their post-traumatic growth. Social workers and other helping professionals may promote and develop more policies and programs that encourage and support those domestic violence victims who are willing to involve in anti-domestic violence activities. Such policies and programs would not only promote the victims’ post-traumatic growth, but also contribute to challenging gender-based inequality and creating a more equal and harmonious society.