205852 Through the eyes of a survivor: Using photovoice as a means of intervention with abused women

Monday, November 9, 2009

Laura Beth Haymore, MPH , Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, UNC at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Paige Smith, PhD , Center for Women's Health and Wellness, UNC Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Background: Research has shown that domestic violence victims have an increased risk for re-victimization. Factors affecting a woman's risk for victimization have been well studied. Few evaluations have been conducted that address a victim's ability to move forward.

Purpose: Implement a Photovoice program with formally battered women and identify the extent to which the women find the program helpful as they transition to a life beyond and not defined by abuse.

Methods: Five formerly abused women were recruited through a domestic violence agency in the northwestern region of North Carolina. Participants in a 10-week program took photographs and wrote narratives to explore individual (personal and partner), family, community and societal factors that contributed to their experiences. Participants met together for 5 bi-weekly meetings facilitated by the researcher. These meetings gave participants a space to discuss their photographs and narratives in a group setting. During the last meeting, the researcher facilitated a focus group to discuss the project. Photographs, narratives, field notes, and the focus group were analyzed.

Results: We found that the women were open and willing to speak out about the abuse they suffered. Participants enjoyed the opportunity to “tell their own story” and describe it creatively. Early evaluation indicates that Photovoice does help women heal from some the abuse and move forward in a more positive direction.

Discussion: This paper describes the implementation and evaluation of the Photovoice program and offers suggestions for future research and practice using this method as an intervention with abused women.

Learning Objectives:
1. By the end of the session, the participant will be able to design a project using Photovoice in their own work with abused women. 2. By the end of the session, the participant will be able to identify the value of using Photovice with abused women.

Keywords: Domestic Violence, Women's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the student researcher on the project. I conducted the research and analyzed the results.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.