Tennent2019a

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Tennent2019a
BibType ARTICLE
Key Tennent2019a
Author(s) Emma Tennent, Ann Weatherall
Title Disclosing violence in calls for help
Editor(s)
Tag(s) EMCA, Membership Categorisation Analysis, Women, Calls for help, Helpline interaction
Publisher
Year 2019
Language English
City
Month
Journal Gender and Language
Volume 13
Number 2
Pages 270-288
URL
DOI https://doi.org/10.1558/genl.35106
ISBN
Organization
Institution
School
Type
Edition
Series
Howpublished Online Journal
Book title
Chapter

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Abstract

Violence against women is a pervasive problem, both in New Zealand society and around the world. Yet assessing the scale and effects of violence is difficult, as many women face barriers to disclosure. This paper examines women’s disclosures of violence in calls for help to a victim support agency. We use conversation analysis and focus on membership categorisation to describe the different ways disclosures are built and understood in situ. It was only in a minority of cases (around 20%), that callers made direct reference to violence, or categorised themselves explicitly as victims, albeit with indications of problems in speaking. However, for the majority, women did not mention the words ‘victim’ or ‘violence’ at all. Instead, culturally shared knowledge associated with categories of people (e.g. ex-partners) and places (e.g. home and jail) were used to build and interpret a description as a disclosure of violence. Our work contributes to an understanding of women’s disclosures of violence by examining them directly in the setting where they occur. We discuss some of the insights gained from examining interactions in situ, and the practical applications of our work for improving services for women who have experienced violence.

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