Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School for Social Work


Victims of family violence-Services for, Family violence-Psychological aspects, Intimate partner violence-Psychological aspects, Resilience (Personality trait), Domestic violence, Intimate partner violence, Post-traumatic growth, Growth, Resiliency, Recovery, Re-traumatization, Replications of abuse, Hierarchy of abuse, Compounding trauma, Marginalized identities


This qualitative research study explores clinicians’ perceptions of how current social service systems impact domestic violence survivor resiliency and recovery from abuse. The study utilizes a narrative analytic approach examining semi-structured interviews gathered from nine clinicians working in the trauma field. Through using the theoretical frames of intersectionality, trauma theory, and post-traumatic growth theory, the study focuses on the potential for growth and resilience among trauma survivors. This study found that survivors experienced more nuanced post-traumatic growth with ambivalence around new self-development, resiliency, and feelings of empowerment. The research suggests that the current social service systems re-traumatize survivors and replicate tactics of abuse similar to those existing in relationships with interpersonal violence.Participants discussed feelings of unpredictability, manipulation, and disempowerment that survivors experience in IPV and within service system interactions, which were exacerbated for survivors holding marginalized identities. Implications for social work practice, policy, and future studies are also discussed.




iii, 94 pages. Includes bibliographical references (pages 76-83)

Included in

Social Work Commons