Resistance: untold story of domestic violence

  Public
By: 
s1abbott
Ethnographic study provides insider's look at domestic violence, victim blaming and theory of resistance: that victims employ strategies of resistance rather than passively responding to violence.

Student Tanya Shewfelt’s thesis for her Master of Arts in Professional Communication program is an ethnographic study that provides an insider's look at being a victim of domestic violence, social issues such as victim blaming, and the theory of resistance: that victims employ strategies of resistance rather than passively responding to violence. Shewfelt observed a transformation in her participant, Monique, when Monique began to speak in the setting of her workplace, as program director of a women's shelter, about her experience with an abusive partner.

Shewfelt’s research is generating attention from the Alberta government and public sector agencies. She is using her data to create a public awareness campaign that will be released this November as part of Alberta's Family Violence Awareness Month. Her research also drew the attention of Darrel Janz, a prominent CTV Calgary journalist, who featured Shewfelt and Monique on his weekly “Inspired Albertan” segment, one of Calgary’s most-watched news shows, to debunk stereotypes and show that domestic violence victims come from all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.