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Women Survivors of Sexual Violence and Partner Abuse: Exploring Transformative Learning through Social Action Participation Susan H. Young M.Ad.Ed. (Candidate) & Elizabeth Lange, Ph.D. (Supervisor) St. Francis Xavier University

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    Women Survivors of Sexual Violence andPartner Abuse:

    Exploring Transformative Learning

    through Social Action Participation

    Susan H. Young M.Ad.Ed. (Candidate) &

    Elizabeth Lange, Ph.D. (Supervisor)

    St. Francis Xavier University

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    oorways to the layers of selves

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    Integration

    Invite the Mind

    To spiral to the centre of the Heart

    Where the exquisite clarity of Spirit

    Lives in the marrow,

    Juicy and serene.

    SH Young, 2011

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    1. Research Project Question

    2. Background

    3. Methodology

    4. Research Methods

    5. Findings

    6. Implications

    Outline

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    Research Project Question

    Do women survivors of sexual violence and

    partner abuse experience transformative learning

    by engaging in social action on a Survivors

    Advisory Council?

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    Background: Identifying the Gap

    Adult educators are usually social activists who

    challenge learners and systems about justice issues

    (Friere, 1970; Lange, 2009; Mezirow, 2009;

    OSullivan, 2008; Taylor, 2009; & Tisdell, 1998,and others)

    Yet very few adult educators talk about violence

    against women

    (hooks, 2000; Horsmann, 1999; Johnson-Bailey,

    2005; Price, 2005; Stalker, 2005).

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    Goals:

    Explore survivors experiences Engage communities in change

    Guiding Principle:

    Survivors experiences and voices

    are valued as experts

    Research Project

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    Any act of gender-based violence that resultsin, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, ormental harm or suffering to women, including

    threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrarydeprivation of liberty, whether occurring inpublic or private life.

    United Nations, 1993

    Background: Definition of

    Violence Against Women

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    Survivors who come together to improveservices for victims of sexual violenceand partner abuse.

    Engage in public education about theirlived experience as survivors during thedisclosure process, primarily with service

    providers and Coordinating CommitteesAgainst Violence

    Background: Survivors Advisory

    Councils

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    Methodology

    1. Qualitative

    2. Critical ethnography

    3. Lens of feminist and critical theory

    4. Transformative Learning Theory

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    Research Methods

    1. Data Collection: Two Ontario Survivors Advisory

    Councils

    Eight individual interviews

    Key preliminary findings:

    Two participant check-in groups

    One focus group with self-disclosed survivors

    2. Data Analysis

    Inductive and Deductive

    Started with themes then expanded to categories

    linked to larger social movements

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    Dying to the self

    Photo by SH Young

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    Six Key Findings

    1. Powerlessness as a Victim

    2. Finding Voice

    3. Complex Identities4. Social Movement Learning

    5. Personal and Political

    6. Social Activism

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    Data Analysis

    1. Oppression and Ways of Knowing

    2. Political and Multidimensional

    Transformative Learning

    3. Development of Critical

    Consciousness

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    1. Adult Educators

    2. VAW Sector3. Survivors Advisory Councils

    Implications of the Research

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    Self-Acceptance

    THE STRUGGLE TO BE SOMETHING MORE

    THAN THE PERSON OTHERS HAVE MADE,

    TO CONSTRUCT AND THEN LIVE UP TO A

    SET OF OUR OWN EXPECTATIONS IS ONEOF THE MOST COMPELLING STRUGGLES

    OF OUR ADULT LIVES. Daloz, 1999

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    Paddling new rivers

    Photo by SH Young

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    I think being a survivor is key [to making change].You know its easy for people to listen to what youre

    saying, but when they know that this has happened toyou, theyre [really] going to listen. Its not justsomebody blabbing away about statistics or whateverelse. I think the fact that I share my story and my

    experiences, and personalize it, I think that is huge tomaking any kind of change, or impact, on somebody.I think thats key.

    Samantha