Abstract: Healing Process of Turkish Women Survivors Who Have Experienced Gender-Based Violence (Society for Social Work and Research 26th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Racial, Social, and Political Justice)

713P Healing Process of Turkish Women Survivors Who Have Experienced Gender-Based Violence

Sunday, January 16, 2022
Marquis BR Salon 6, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
* noted as presenting author
Burcu Ozturk, Phd, Postdoc Fellow, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
Zeynep Zonp, PhD, Postdoc Fellow, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI
Ayse Guler, PhD student, University of Cincinnati, OH
Denise Saint Arnault, Phd, Professor, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI
Background and Purpose: Gender-based violence is a worldwide issue and international studies have revealed that violence against women is a significant issue worldwide and requires more attention and research to fully address the issue. Turkey is one of the countries, has high prevalence of gender-based violence. A study conducted in Turkey reported that 43.9% of Turkish women have experienced emotional violence, 35.5% have experienced physical violence, 30% have experienced economic violence, and 12% have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime (Hacettepe University Institute of Population Studies, 2015). Women utilize varying strategies to minimize the effects of abuse. Turkish women might apply to seek help from some formal services and seeking advice and emotional support from other social networks. The purpose of this study was to understand and explored how Turkish women who explored gender-based violence coped and survived in their lives as well as how culture effects on their coping mechanisms.

Methods: This study was conducted as a qualitative research method based on the phenomenological approach to answer the research question. The study research question is that “How do Turkish Women who have experienced gender-based violence use coping strategies in their lives?” A phenomenological approach was selected to guide this research to understand the lived experiences of Turkish women who have experienced gender-based violence in their lives. Data was collected in Turkey by using snowball technique. The eligibility of the participants were (a)Turkish women who live in Turkey, (b) have experienced gender-based violence such as physical, psychological, emotional, or sexual abuse in their lives (c) at least 18 years old. We interviewed seventeen women who met with eligibility criteria of the study. Data was analyzed to use thematic analysis to do line-byline coding interview transcripts in order to emerge themes among the participants (Braun & Clarke, 2006; Saldana, 2016).

Result: Through examination of seventeen Turkish women gender-based violence survivors experiences, we aimed to gain to better understand their coping strategies. The themes emerged from interview responses, which helped to address the research question:

Theme1: Self-competence: All participants described how they empowered themselves and focused on their personal strengths.

Theme2: Separate from others: All participants mentioned that how their alone time is important for them and isolating themselves.

Theme3: Getting professional help: The participants described how they utilized formal coping strategies to heal themselves after the abuse.

Theme4: Having Faith: The participants described how having faith and feeling hopeful helped them to survive after their traumatic experiences.

Theme 5: Social support: The participants mentioned how important to have trusted friends during their healing process.

Conclusion and Implications: This study provided an opportunity to those participants to feel worthy and valuable by having a voice to express their feelings in society. Also, it is important for social workers, researcher and policy makers to understand different coping strategies in the various culture dynamics to make appropriate intervention and policy.