Research Event
Grad Important Dates
Office of Research & Graduate Studies
Virtual Event

Beyond the Barriers: Women's voices in litigation abuse following intimate partner violence, by Nicole Kragt

Location: Virtual (link below)

Department: Master of Arts Counselling Psychology

Thesis Supervisor: Deepak Mathew, PhD, CCC (CPSY)

Second Reader: Marvin McDonald, PhD (CPSY)

External Examiner: Kaori Wada, PhD, RPsych (University of Calgary)

Exam Chair: Ruth Anaya, DLitt et Phil (LEAD)

Abstract: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a major health concern, which causes detrimental physical, emotional, and economic impacts on victims, witnesses, and society (World Health Organization, 2010). Survivors of IPV are often left with ranges of negative health consequences. Upon leaving their abuser, women seek justice and protection through the legal system. However, perpetrators of IPV may continue abusive tactics through legal proceedings. Although litigation is used by women for safety and relationship closure, it can provide perpetrators another avenue for continuing harassment towards the victim that is legally justified. For the purposes of this study, I have used the term litigation abuse to define a range of tactics used by a perpetrator to continue to abuse, harass, and control their victim through the courts. This study aims to provide women an opportunity to share their story of litigation abuse in Canada. The research question for this study is: What are the voices present in the experience of litigation abuse following intimate partner violence for women? Seven women who experienced litigation abuse following intimate partner violence were recruited. The listening guide, a qualitative feminist method, was used to explore multiple layers of voice within the women’s experiences. Two main categories of voice emerged within all participant narratives: voices of apprehension and voices of freedom. This study seeks to understand litigation abuse through a counselling psychology research lens, by contributing to theory and practice in introducing the beyond the barrier model. Furthermore, increased knowledge may help contribute to a greater awareness, improve therapeutic interventions, and generate community responses to support victims of litigation abuse.

Event contact: Alethea Cook, Office of Research & Graduate Studies