Reflections on "Journeys: Resilience and growth for survivors of intimate partner abuse" by Susan Miller

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Education Building (EDU), 1111
401 East Peltason Drive Irvine, CA 92697-8000

Research shows that post-traumatic growth, resilience, and empowerment can flourish following adversity. Miller’s research with long-term survivors of intimate partner violence/abuse reveals that though trauma and recovery have shaped their lives, victimization is not the center­piece of their identities. Using interviews with survivors, all of whom are five years or more out of abusive intimate relationships, and participant observations of survivor group meetings, Miller traces these women’s multiple, nuanced and complex journeys towards survivorship and violence-free lives. Although there is a wealth of research on crisis and short-term needs, we know very little about the ways in which long-term survivors transform or incorporate their “victim” identities and experiences while encountering social structural constraints (such as poverty or lack of resources that may affect help-seeking behavior, as well as housing and employment options) and legal and criminal justice obstacles. The challenges abound even for those victims/survivors most likely to have a strong sense of personal efficacy as well as access to a range of emotional and instrumental support from serv­ice providers, family and friends. Moving from being controlled by an abu­sive partner or ex-partner toward a life where one is in control is an accom­plishment that other abused women can be inspired by and learn from. Miller hopes her talk will offer direction, refinement and ways to support programs that can foster resilience, and is useful for practitioners, academics, policymakers and students.

About Susan Miller

Susan L. Miller is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware. Her research interests include gender-based violence, justice-involved women, victims' rights, gender and criminal justice policy. She has published numerous articles about the intersection of victimization and offending among IPV survivors including a book, Victims as offenders: The paradox of women's use of violence in relationships. Her book, After the crime: The power of restorative justice dialogues between victims and violent offenders, won the national 2012 Outstanding Book Award presented by ACJS. Miller's latest book, Journeys: Resilience and growth for survivors of intimate partner abuse, addresses resilience, growth, and self-efficacy of long-term survivors of intimate partner violence and abuse.

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Students, Alumni, General Public, Prospective Students, Faculty, Staff



Centers, Initiative to End Family Violence
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