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Fifty percent of all women in America have reported being battered at some point in time, and one in five report regular assaults. This exploratory qualitative study' purpose was to describe reported patterns of violence in sheltered battered women. Homelessness was the adaptive response to battering. A purposive sample of 7 women described violence patterns from childhood and their most recent relationships prior to seeking shelter In-depth audiotaped interviews indicated extreme violence and terror Thematic analysis revealed an understanding of abusive patterns with a male partner A theory of freedom-seeking behavior emerged, with related themes including terror murderous thoughts, awakening, and escape. The emerging theory has implications for outreach, case finding, and identification of intervention timing for abused women. (Authors)
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services