Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

Laura Moriarty


Abstract AN EXPLORATION OF THE EFFECTS OF LONG-TERM INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE: LISTENING TO OLDER WOMEN By Suzanne Faries Lowe, Ph.D. A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Virginia Commonwealth University. Virginia Commonwealth University, 2008 Chairman of Committee Laura J. Moriarty, Ph.D. Professor of Criminal Justice Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs There has been a great deal of research during the past four decades on the topic of domestic violence. Very little research has been conducted, however, on the effects of long-term intimate partner violence on older women. The four women who participated in this in-depth study ranged in age between 63 and 70, and each had been in a violent and abusive relationship for at least twenty years. Two of the women were divorced from their abusers, while two were still married. Each of the women was interviewed twice, for a total of between 4 ½ and 6 hours. The interview topics included discussions of their childhood, courtship, marriage, and relationships with their now adult children. Social learning, social bond, feminist, and exchange theories were used as a framework for understanding the dynamics involved in these abusive relationships. The respondent’s experiences, observations, health issues and suggestions have been used, together with an examination of the pertinent academic literature on the topics, to formulate policy recommendations and ideas for fertile areas of future research.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2008