Investigation of Self-Compassion, Shame, and Self-Blame in Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence

Erb, Sandra R.
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University of Guelph

This thesis investigated the relationship between self-compassion, shame, and self-blame in survivors of intimate partner violence and explored whether levels of self-compassion varied by violence type. Fifty-one female participants, 19 to 64 years of age (Mage = 30.60), who identified serious romantic relationship conflict within the last five years were recruited from women's shelters and related organizations, Kijiji online advertisements, a University campus, an online women's forum, and social media sites. Participants completed an online survey that asked women about the relationship violence and about their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Results indicated that women experiencing high levels of shame and self-blame possessed lower levels of self-compassion. Results also revealed that women exposed to intimate terrorism had significantly more difficulty experiencing self-compassion than those encountering situational couple violence. The results of this study suggest the importance of self-compassion to address the shame and self-blame that often plague survivors of IPV.

Intimate Partner Violence, Self-Compassion, Shame, Sef-Blame, Intimate Terrorism, Situational Couple Violence, Help-Seeking, Shame-proneness, Placating Strategies