Women’s Experiences of Domestic Violence and Mental Health: Findings from a European Empowerment Project

Michele Lloyd, Shulamit Ramon, Athina Vakalopoulou, Petra Videmšek, Caroline Meffan, Joanna Roszczynska-Michta, Luca Rollè

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
70 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: Research shows that women experiencing domestic violence and mental health problems often fall into gaps in services between support for domestic violence and support for mental health. This article reports on an action-research project adopting a strengths-based approach to recovery funded by the European Commission. Multimethod research was carried out in 5 European countries examining how interconnections of domestic violence and mental health impact the lives of women, how their lives can be improved by empowering strategies, and how service providers’ professional learning can be developed. Women survivors’ strengths and posttraumatic growth in the context of domestic violence remains a considerably underresearched area and the study provides new insights into adopting a strengths-based framework. Method: Free training programs were designed, delivered, and evaluated for 2 groups of participants (n = 136) pertaining to women service users and mental health service providers (men and women) working with abused women. Results: Program-evaluation data gained through surveys and focus groups showed that women participants reported growth in self-esteem and coping skills, whereas professionals felt better equipped to address the tandem issues of domestic violence and mental health. Conclusion: Findings extend current knowledge about the barriers and facilitators to empowerment and strengths-based recovery perspectives, professional learning, and offer a more nuanced understanding of women’s agential ability for posttraumatic growth. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)478-487
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Violence
Issue number3
Early online date24 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2017


  • domestic violence, mental health, strengths-based recovery, empowerment, professional learning


Dive into the research topics of 'Women’s Experiences of Domestic Violence and Mental Health: Findings from a European Empowerment Project'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this