Aboriginal women and violence, a standpoint analysis

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Murdock, Lisa Audrey
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In order to adequately respond to the needs of women who are struggling to cope with their own use of intimate violence, this research project sets out to explore the issue of women's intimate violence. Acknowledging the fact that violence is a significant issue within the Aboriginal community, particular attention has been directed to Aboriginal women who engage in violent behaviour. Taking a standpoint approach to the issue, three focus-group discussions and 12 in-depth interviews were conducted with Aboriginal women in order to get at how these women made sense of their own use of violence. Situated in the context of the long history of racial oppression and discrimination faced by Aboriginal people, the legacy of residential boarding schools is discussed in terms of its effect upon the familial structure within Aboriginal communities. As a result of the government's failed attempt to assimilate Canada's Aboriginal people into the larger society, Aboriginal people, as a group, have been left to live in astate of despair. The women's stories of growing up in broken families are explored in depth, as is their long histories of living in an environment where alcohol, violence and poverty are the norm. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)