The article highlights the traumatic impact of intimate partner domestic violence
(IPDV) on women, the complexity of their responses to it, its impact on their
identities, and their resulting social position in Europe. An exploration of the
intersectionalities between IPDV and mental distress within the context of negative social attitudes toward IPDV victims follows, highlighting the psychosocial significance of experiencing IPDV for the internalized social exclusion of victims of this type of violence. In this context it is further attempted to understand the seemingly contradictory behaviour of women experiencing IPDV in disclosing their experience and in living with, and leaving, the perpetrator. Prevalence statistics indicate the high rate of mental distress among IPDV women victims, as well as the types such distress takes. The relevance of these intersectionalities for mental health providers and workers in domestic violence services is further explored, including their distancing stance toward women experiencing both IPDV and mental distress.
A case is put forward for applying the new meaning of recovery in mental health to women experiencing IPDV. That approach has the potential to provide a positive contribution, enabling them to move from being victims to becoming survivors, while taking into account several related intersectional connections
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-100
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2015


  • intimate partner domestic violence
  • women experiencing IPDV
  • intersectionalities
  • European context
  • social exclusion and social inclusion


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